skip to Main Content
Debt-to-Income Ratio - What Exactly Is It?

Debt-to-Income Ratio – What Exactly is it?

What is Your Debt-to-Income Ratio?

Knowing what your debt-to-income ratio is important if you are considering becoming a homeowner. Once you know your ratio, then you need to know what it means and what you can do about improving it. Let’s get started.

What the Heck is Debt-to-Income Ratio Anyway?

Your debt-to-income ratio is the percentage of your annual income (before taxes) needed to cover all your debts, including loans and credit cards.

Why Does it Matter?

If you’re trying to buy a house, your lender will take this into account before deciding how much to offer you. Additionally, your debt-to-income ratio should be 36% or less in Canada in order for major financial institutions to consider you a low risk.

There are times when money is tight and you may leverage your credit more than usual. Financial institutions will consider you high risk if your debt-to-income ratio is between 37-49%. You may need to approach a “subprime lender” to get a mortgage. Subprime lenders usually take on more risky borrowers but they also have higher interest rates.

If you’ve been struggling financially and your debt-to-income is 50% or above, consider talking to your lender about restructuring your debt portfolio. It’s never too late to get your finances in order.

How Do You Improve Your Ratio?

  • Pay down revolving balances as the cash becomes available to you.
  • Try not to let unsecured debt rise to a point where you’re paying off debt by incurring other debt. Consolidation loans are great one-time solutions. Do not overuse them!
  • Consider using savings or equity in your home to pay off any large unsecured debts. To be more creditworthy, it’s better to have no debt load and no equity than a huge debt load and some equity.
  • Avoid or postpone large purchases until you get back on track with your finances.

If you have any questions about your debt-to-income ratio, click here to contact us. You can also click here for a great article from The Globe and Mail by Shelley White.

1. The “Holiday Cheer Giveaway” (the “Contest”) runs from 08:00:00 a.m. AST on December 1st, 2020 (the “Contest Starting Date”) to 5:00:00 p.m. AST on December 11th, 2020 (the “Contest Completion Date”). The Contest will have one (1) grand prize draw for a cash prize of $2,200.

2. Submitting this form implies consent to subscribe to our emails and mobile phone alerts. Subscribers may opt-out at any time.

3. SMS message and data rates may apply. Text HELP to 68411 for help, text STOP to 68411 to end. By opting in, I authorize the seller to deliver messages using an automatic telephone dialling system and I understand that I am not required to opt-in as a condition of entering the Contest.

4. Participants will receive one (1) contest entry for signing up for email and/or mobile phone updates. This is limited to one entry per person through the online sign-up form.

5. Participants may have the opportunity to earn additional entries and any details will be announced from time to time if available.

6. Participants must be 18 years of age at the time of contest entry and reside in Nova Scotia, Canada.

7. By entering this Contest, all entrants consent and agree to the use of their name, address, likeness and photo for any advertising, publicity and marketing purposes by the Sponsor, without compensation.

8. By entering, all eligible participants agree to abide by the rules and conditions outlined above.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Sign up here to get the latest news and updates from Clinton Wilkins Mortgage Team.

You can unsubscribe at any time.

Normally you can find this at retail stores across Halifax and Dartmouth, but we wanted to make it even easier for you to get a copy.

The entire guide is available online to view or download, and to make sure you’re staying safe at home, you can now request a print copy by mail, free of charge, anywhere in Nova Scotia!