How To Use The Mortgage Affordability Calculator
To use our mortgage affordability calculator, simply enter you and your partnerâs income , as well as your living costs and debt payments. The calculator can estimate your living expenses if you donât know them.
With these numbers, youâll be able to calculate how much you can afford to borrow. You can change your amortization period and mortgage rate, to see how that would affect your mortgage affordability and your monthly payments.
How Lenders Assess What You Can Afford
Mortgage lenders base their decisions on whats known as the loan-to-income ratio the amount you want to borrow divided by how much you earn.
The most you can borrow is usually capped at four-and-a-half times your annual income
Have you had mortgage advice?
You can get advice directly from a lender who will discuss their own products, or from a broker wholl be able to look at mortgages from a range of providers.
Read Mortgage advice: should you use a mortgage adviser? for details of where to get advice.
How To Get Pre
House hunting is a funny thing â you can go in thinking you know exactly what kind of place you want, but then a home unexpectedly blows you out of the water! Thatâs a wonderful experience, but it can be a challenge to your budget.
If youâve decided you want to increase your mortgage amount, then it might take a bit of work. Getting a bigger mortgage isnât as easy as some first-time homebuyers might think. Especially post-covid, mortgage providers are being more cautious about lending large amounts of money.
That said, if youâre trying to buy a home thatâs more than your maximum budget, or the amount youâve been pre-approved for, there are still a few ways you can try to get a larger mortgage. Below are some of the steps youâll want to consider taking.
Adjustable Rate Vs Fixed Rate
Mortgages also come with a variety of other things to consider. There are fixed-rate loans, which have the same interest for the duration of the mortgage. And then there are adjustable rate mortgages, which have an interest rate that changes with market conditions after a set number of years.
Most homeowners opt for a fixed-rate mortgage. But if you know youll be selling your home or refinancing before your rate resets an adjustable rate may make sense. This is because adjustable rate mortgages typically have lower interest rates during the initial introductory period before the rate adjusts.
Carefully Manage Your Available Credit
This is all about how much credit you have available to spend on credit cards and overdrafts. It’s the difference between your combined debit balances on your cards and bank accounts and your combined credit limits/overdraft limit.
You need to strike a balance between not having too much as lenders may think you could rack up more debt by spending it all and not getting too close to your limits, which makes it seem you’re at the edge of your finances. Here’s what credit agency Experian says:
This is an art, not a science, and all lenders’ views of how much credit you ‘should’ have differ. Try to average around 25% of your available credit, but if you need to use more then definitely keep it below 50% in all cases. Of course, if you can pay off debt, you should do so.
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Getting A Mortgage Step By Step
Buying a home, especially if its your first time, can be a complicated and stressful process. But it can be easier if you give yourself enough time to prepare and put together a team of professionals who are familiar with the area you want to live in. Working with an experienced real estate agent and lender or mortgage broker can help you navigate the process.
Why You Can Trust Bankrate
Founded in 1976, Bankrate has a long track record of helping people make smart financial choices. Weve maintained this reputation for over four decades by demystifying the financial decision-making process and giving people confidence in which actions to take next.
Bankrate follows a strict editorial policy, so you can trust that were putting your interests first. All of our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts, who ensure everything we publish is objective, accurate and trustworthy.
Our mortgage reporters and editors focus on the points consumers care about most the latest rates, the best lenders, navigating the homebuying process, refinancing your mortgage and more so you can feel confident when you make decisions as a homebuyer and a homeowner.
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Community Banks And Credit Unions
The community bank is the safe choice. You probably have an account there, or had one in the past. There should be more of a personal touch because the community banker makes his money in your neighborhood and needs you as a customer. He can make some concessions on things like credit score and maybe even size of the down payment. Unfortunately, local banks often operate a little short-handed so it may take time to get an appointment or solve a crisis, if you have one.
Use Your Family’s Savings
Some lenders offer family offset mortgages which allow parents to help their children on to the property ladder. With this type of deal the family member puts the cash into a linked savings account and it acts as a deposit, therefore lowering the monthly mortgage payments as interest is only charged on the remaining balance. Crucially, although the family member retains ownership of the money, they won’t have instant access to it, so should only hand over cash they don’t need in the near future. These can help boost the amount you can borrow as your families savings might massively increase your deposit. Find out more in our guide to buying with your parents.
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You Can Determine How Much You’ll Be Able To Borrow
Your lender will pre-approve you for a specific amount of money based on a number of factors, including:
- The size of your down payment
Once you know how much you’re allowed to borrow, you can make sure you’re being realistic about looking for homes within your budget. That way, you can avoid wasting time shopping for a property that’s too expensive.
Remember, though, you don’t have to borrow the full amount you are pre-approved for. This just sets an upper limit you’ll know you need to stick to.
Rejected Stop Before You Make Another Move
If you’re rejected FREEZE! Don’t automatically apply again with a different lender. Too many applications will mess up your credit score, so don’t do it. Instead, the first thing to do is to check your credit file again. Could you have missed something?
At all costs, avoid the rejection spiral. The nightmare example works like this:
This continues, until finally you check your files and get the error corrected. So…
- You apply again
- You’re rejected because of recent ‘searches’
If you’re rejected once, immediately go to the top of this guide and follow the steps we’ve set out, or you may mess up your score as more applications mean more searches, which will compound the problem.
If you haven’t missed anything and your credit file’s still looking good, it could just be that the lender you applied to had its own reason for turning you down. It’s worth asking the lender why.
It should indicate to you the main reason you were turned down and will tell you if that was your credit file.
Ready to get a mortgage?
We’ve lots more guides, tools and tips to help
- Mortgage Best Buys: Find your top mortgage deals.
- Cheap Mortgage Finding: How to pick a broker who will find the best deal for you.
- First-time buyers guide: Free PDF guide helps you take your first step onto the property ladder.
- Remortgage guide: Our free PDF guide has tips on when remortgagings right, plus how to grab top deals.
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What To Bring To Your In
We want you to be ready for the pre-approval process and being prepared will help. For your meeting, you should plan to bring the following:
- Current address
- Previous address
- Current employment information
- Previous employment information
- If self-employed, the last 2 years Notice of Assessments from your Income Tax return
- Value of properties, automobiles, investments, and savings
- Most recent statements for mortgages, loans and lines of credit
- Most recent credit card statements
- Estimated value of your home
- Housing expenses
- Financial information for your co-borrower, if applicable
- Social Insurance Number
Get Information From A Source You Trust
It’s natural to have questions. Besides the basics such as the interest rate and term, it’s a good idea to ask about other things like prepayment charges if you plan to sell your property or pay down your mortgage loan faster. To ensure that you get accurate, actionable information we recommend seeking answers from a trusted source. TD Mortgage Advisors are well versed in every aspect of the mortgage process and can be an easily accessible source of information.
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How Long Does It Take To Get Approved For A Mortgage
Terri Williams is an expert in mortgages, real estate, and home buying. As a journalist she’s covered the “homes” corner of personal finance for more than a decade, with bylines in scores of publications, including Realtor.com, Bob Vila, Yahoo, Time/Next Advisor, The San Francisco Chronicle, Real Homes, and Apartment Therapy.
Buying a home is an exciting and memorable time for most people. However, the actual mortgage approval process can quickly dampen the mood, and it often proves to be quite stressful for anxious buyers. But there are things you can do to actually speed up the timelineor at least not delay it.
Well look at the mortgage approval process to help you better understand the process and how you can work to move it along
Increase Your Qualifying Income
When underwriters look at income, they take a pretty conservative stance. For example, income from your part-time job might not be considered unless you have a history of working more than one job. And if you deduct unreimbursed business expenses on a Schedule 2106, your lender will probably also deduct them from your qualifying income.
However, sometimes the rules work in your favor. Per the Equal Opportunity Act Amendments of 1976, you can use income that you receive from public assistance programs to qualify for a loan if the income is likely to continue.
Here are other sources of income that you might not have considered, according to Fannie Mae:
- Alimony or child support
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Buying With Someone Else Can Be Easier
If youve no hope of building up a decent deposit on your own, you might want to think about buying with someone else. This could boost your chances of securing a decent mortgage, particularly if theyve got an excellent credit history and a higher income than you. But remember that this is a big commitment, so youll need to sit down and work out with the other person what would happen if one of you wanted to move in future.
Check If Financial Support During The Pandemic Could Dent Your Mortgage Chances
At the start of the pandemic, lenders and the Government introduced various support measures for those struggling financially, such as the furlough scheme and payment holidays on credit cards, loans, payday loans, buy now, pay later products and insurance premiums.
Yet if you’re using one of these schemes or you were but it has since closed, such as furlough this can actually dent your chances of getting a mortgage. In brief:
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Advantages Of A Preapproval
There are advantages to getting preapproved before youre ready to make an offer. First, and perhaps most importantly, youll know how what price or much home you can buy and hopefully wont waste time looking at houses you cant afford.
Second, in many parts of the country, top real estate agents wont even work with you unless youre preapproved. They want proof that youre able to stand behind an offer to buy a home.
Finally, you can act fast when you find a home you love. With a mortgage preapproval, you can make your best offer, knowing chances are good that youll quickly close on the home if the seller accepts your terms. For many sellers, a quick settlement is a huge advantage.
Calculate Your Income And Your Monthly Debt Obligations
The first step in preparing to apply for a mortgage is to document your monthly income and debt payments. Youll need to provide at least two weeks of pay stubs to your lender, so it doesnt hurt to start collecting those. If youre self-employed or have variable income, expect the underwriting process to be a bit more involved. You may, for example, have to submit copies of your past one or two tax returns. The lender may then count the average of your last two years income or the lower of the two numbers.
Getting approved for the mortgage you want is all about staying within certain ratios lenders use to determine how much you can afford for a mortgage payment. Large debt payments will limit the size of the mortgage approval you can get. If possible, pay these loans off or, at the very least, avoid taking any new loan payments on.
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How Much Income Is Needed For A 250k Mortgage +
A $250k mortgage with a 4.5% interest rate for 30 years and a $10k down-payment will require an annual income of $63,868 to qualify for the loan. You can calculate for even more variations in these parameters with our Mortgage Required Income Calculator. The calculator also gives a graphical representation of required income for a wider range of interest rates.
How Much Downpayment Do I Need
A down payment might be the one thing everyone knows is part of the home-buying process, but there is some discussion on how much of a down payment to make how to fund it and who benefits most from a big down payment: the buyer or the lender?
It seems obvious that the bigger the down payment, the better it is for the buyer and for good reason: Its the first jab at reducing the amount of money you must borrow and thus reduces the amount you must repay.The goal for most buyers is to put down 20% of the purchase price, which affords them a lot of benefits, such as:
- Tilting the approval process in your favor. A 20% down payment is a sign of commitment to the lender. They may overlook a few of the negatives in your file if they know youre already one-fifth of the way to paying off the home.
- Not having to pay Private Mortgage Insurance , which protects the lender if you default. PMI usually is about 1% of the loan amount or about $125 a month on a $150,000 mortgage. It is required on loans, if you dont have 20% down.
- Receiving the best interest rates and terms for your mortgage. Again, back to the commitment level.
- Paying less interest and points on a loan, which means making a lower monthly payment. Youre borrowing less, so you pay less.
- Lower payments mean faster payoff. Getting rid of a 30-year mortgage in 25 years is realistic if your payments are low enough that you can afford to throw extra money at the principal every month.
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Know What You Can Afford
I know from personal experience that lenders do pre-approve applicants for more than they can afford. After receiving a pre-approval letter from our lender, my husband and I wondered whether they had read the right tax returns. We appreciated the lenders generosity, but ultimately decided on a home that fit comfortably within our budget.
Dont let lenders dictate how much you should spend on a mortgage loan. Lenders determine pre-approval amounts based on your income and credit report, and they dont factor in how much you spend on daycare, insurance, groceries, or fuel. Rather than purchase a more expensive house because the lender says you can, be smart and keep your housing expense within your means.