Liabilities in Mortgage Qualification

How Do Underwriters View Liabilities In Mortgage Qualification

Gustan Cho Associates are mortgage brokers licensed in 48 states

This article covers how underwriters view liabilities In mortgage qualification. Income and liabilities in mortgage qualification are the two most important factors when lenders qualify borrowers. Borrowers can have high verified income, but if they have many liabilities in mortgage qualification, they may not qualify by themselves. Every mortgage loan program has debt-to-income ratio requirements.

How Are Debt-to-Income Ratios Calculated

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In this section, we will cover how debt-to-income ratios are calculated by lenders. Taking the total monthly minimum payments of borrowers which includes the proposed P.I.T.I. of the new home purchase. Dividing it by the borrower’s monthly gross income. That percentage is derived by dividing the total monthly borrower’s monthly payments by the borrower’s monthly gross income is the debt-to-income ratio.

Types Of Liabilities In Mortgage Qualification

Mortgage Underwriters only count liabilities that report on credit bureaus as well as other debts that borrowers are obligated by court order. Utilities, cell phone bills, personal insurance bills, food and clothing, and other non-credit reporting liabilities are not included in the calculation of debt to income ratios. The two of the biggest liabilities in mortgage qualification that most home buyers face are the following:

  1. Student Loans
  2. Car Payments

Deferred Student Loans

Deferred Student Loans and Car Payments are the two biggest liabilities in mortgage qualification. Deferred student loans that have been deferred for more than 12 months are no longer exempt from FHA and Conventional loans. Conventional and FHA loans allow IBR payments reporting on credit reports. VA loans does exempt deferred student loans that have been deferred for 12 or more months. Income-Based Repayment (IBR) does not count on VA loans.  Borrowers with high student loan balances need to do the following on FHA, and USDA lans:

  • Contact their student loan provider
  • Tell them that they are applying for a mortgage and that their lender is requiring a written fully monthly amortized payment over an extended payment plan (normally 25 years)
  • This amount should be under 045% of the student loan balance

Getting this fully amortized monthly payment over an extended payment plan is crucial for those with higher student loan balances. Otherwise, lenders will use 0.50% of the outstanding student loan balance on FHA and USDA loans. HUD, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac allow IBR Payments on FHA, USDA, and conventional loans. Click here to apply for deffered student loans

Mortgage Qualification With Auto Loans

What are the car payments and the qualification of the mortgageAnother common problem home buyers with higher debt to income ratios will encounter is not qualifying due to car payments. Average auto monthly payments are $400 per month. This $400 per month is equivalent to an $80,000 mortgage. The reason monthly car payments are so high is due to having shorter amortization schedules. Homebuyers intending in buying a home in the near future should avoid buying a new auto until after they purchase and close on their home loans. Alimony and child support payments are viewed by mortgage underwriters as liabilities.

Contingent Liabilities

Contingent Liabilities In Mortgage Qualification exists when mortgage borrowers hold a joint obligation with another person. Examples include where the borrower is a co-applicant or co-signer. The co-signer must be listed on the borrower’s debt unless the borrower can provide proof and documentation that the debt holder has no financial responsibility for the debt. Proof that there is not a possibility that the creditor will not go after the co-signer in the event if the debt goes bad needs to be provided. Exclusions include if the co-signer can provide proof that the main borrower has been making payments in the past 12 months. Proof includes 12 month’s canceled checks or bank statements of the main account holder. All payments from the main account holder need to have been on time for the past 12 months.

Mortgage Debt Obligations

In the event, if the borrower has been obligated on an existing outstanding home loan that is secured by a property that has been sold by assumption, the following applies: Contract for deed or traded within the past twelve months without the liability being release or the property has been transferred out due to divorce. contingent liabilities in mortgage qualification needs to be factored in unless the following:

  • Zero 30 day late payments in the past 12 months
  • A home appraisal or closing statement from the sale of the property supports a value that is 75% or less loan-to-value
  • The outstanding mortgage loan balance less any upfront mortgage insurance premium cannot exceed 75% of the home appraised value or sale price
  • Copy of divorce decree ordering the separated spouse to make mortgage payments or assumption agreement and the deed that shows the transfer of title to the property out of the borrowers’ name is required.

Installment Debt Obligations

If borrowers have debt payments that are less than 10 months remaining for payoff balance, that debt may be excluded from debt to income ratio calculations. Mortgage underwriters may include those debts if the borrower’s credit file is weak with no reserves or the underwriter sees that the debt payment may affect new homeowners’ ability to pay new mortgage (P.I.T.I.).  Installment debt may not be paid down to 10 months remaining in order to qualify for a mortgage.

Click here to Qualify for student loan

Lease Payments as Liabilities in Mortgage Qualification

Automobile monthly lease payments need to be included for DTI calculations even though the payments are less than 10 months.  Lenders do not exempt car leases because they assume once a borrower’s auto lease is up, they will lease another auto.

Revolving Debt As Liabilities In Mortgage Qualification

Revolving monthly debt needs to be included in the debt to income ratio calculations. Lenders do not accept revolving debt pay down to qualify for a mortgage by borrowers. Paying down debts on credit cards and other revolving debts needs to be done prior to submission of the mortgage loan application. Borrowers who are looking for a direct lender with no lender overlays on government and conventional loans and no overlays on debt to income ratios, please contact us at 800-900-8569 or text us for a faster response. Or email us at We are available 7 days a week, evenings, weekends, and holidays.

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