Preapproved for a House: A Debt-to-Income Disco

what is a pre-approval? and how you can improve your pre-approval by improving your DTI

8/8/20232 min read

Buying a house can be both exciting and nerve-wracking. It's like being on a roller coaster, where you're strapped in with dreams of a cozy abode, but also anticipating the stomach-dropping descent when dealing with financial jargon like "pre-approval" and "debt-to-income." Don't worry; we're here to turn this daunting journey into an insightful dance party!

Let's start with "pre-approval" – it's like getting an exclusive invite to the hippest party in town. Imagine you're standing in a line, looking all anxious, wondering if you'll get through the velvet rope or be rejected like an unwanted date. But hey, pre-approval is your VIP pass to the real estate dance floor! It means that a lender has already scrutinized your finances, giving you a green light to boogie down on a house hunt.

Being pre-approved doesn't mean you should break out the sprinklers just yet. Remember, you're still dealing with finances here, so keep your cool dance moves in check. While pre-approval means you're on the guest list, the actual loan amount is yet to be determined. It's like being told you can eat cake, but the size of your slice depends on how much frosting (ahem, money) you can handle.

Now, let's cha-cha to the catchy beat of "debt-to-income" (DTI). Picture this: you're at a party, and everyone's talking about how much they make and spend. Awkward, right? Well, that's what DTI is all about – it's a party conversation about your finances!

DTI is a simple ratio that divides your monthly debt obligations by your gross monthly income. It tells lenders whether you're the responsible type who knows when to stop ordering pizzas or if you're the shopaholic who can't resist those flashy shoes. The lower your DTI, the more stable and appealing you are to lenders, making them more likely to shout, "You're the one!" for that dreamy mortgage.

But here's the real kicker – lenders have a groove they follow. For conventional loans, they prefer DTI under 36%. For government-backed loans, like those from the FHA or VA, the dance floor's a bit more flexible, letting you slide with higher DTIs.

Now, it's time for a quick pause – you might wonder, "How can I lower my DTI?" Fear not, dear reader, for we have the moves to help you swing that DTI like a pro!

First, pay down those pesky debts. It's like shedding that awkward sweater you regretted wearing to the party. Second, negotiate with your creditors – ask for lower interest rates or extended payment terms. It's like persuading that wallflower in the corner to join the dance floor. And finally, consider boosting your income by taking on a side gig or asking for a raise at work. Show them your moonwalk skills!

So there you have it, party people – the delightful dance of being pre-approved and understanding DTI. It's all about showcasing your financial swagger while keeping a close eye on your money moves. So, put on those dancing shoes, waltz through the pre-approval process, and groove with a healthy DTI to score your dream home. Happy house hunting and let the financial dance-off begin!