DEFINITION of 'Qualification Ratio'

Ratio of debt to income and housing expense to income that is used by mortgage lenders to determine a borrower's credit-worthiness for certain loan amounts. Generally, a borrower's debt-to-income ratio, which includes housing expenses plus long-term debt, cannot exceed 36% of the person's monthly gross income. Housing expenses alone, which include home owner's insurance, taxes, condominium fees, homeowner's fees, etc. cannot exceed 28% of a borrower's monthly gross income.

BREAKING DOWN 'Qualification Ratio'

Mortgage programs are available for borrowers who do not meet the standard qualifying ratios, but the added risk of default by the borrower means that such mortgages generally carry higher interest rates than mortgages where the standard qualifying ratios are met.

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