Debt to income ratio: Why is it important and how to calculate?

debt to income ratio

The lending organisation needs to be certain that you will return your loan in accordance with the repayment plan when you contact a bank or other financial institution for a loan. One of the key measures that banks use to assess your likelihood of defaulting on the loan is your credit score.

Good credit alone, however, is insufficient. Additionally, banks must determine your ability to repay them. In other words, they need to confirm that you have the resources necessary to pay back your loan EMIs on time.

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What Is Debt To Income Ratio?

The debt-to-income (DTI) ratio is a statistic used by banks and other financial institutions to confirm this. A low debt-to-income (DTI) ratio indicates that debt and income are well balanced. In other words, a DTI ratio of 15% indicates that 15% of your total monthly income is used to pay off debt. In contrast, a high DTI ratio can indicate that a person has too much debt relative to their monthly income.

Borrowers that have low debt-to-income ratios are typically better able to handle their monthly loan payments. As a result, before offering a loan to a potential borrower, banks and financial credit providers prefer to see low DTI percentages. Since lenders want to make sure a borrower isn’t overextended, or has too many debt payments relative to their income, they want low DTI ratios.

As a general rule, a borrower can have a DTI ratio of up to 43% and still be approved for a mortgage. A debt-to-income ratio of less than 36% is preferred by lenders, with no more than 28% of the debt serving as a mortgage or rent payment.

Each lender has a different maximum DTI ratio. The borrower’s prospects of getting their credit application approved, or at least taken into consideration, are, however, better the lower their debt-to-income ratio.

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How Is The Debt-To-Income Ratio Calculated?

The debt-to-income ratio is calculated by a simple formula, as given below:

Debt-to-income ratio = 100 x (Monthly debt payments/Gross monthly income).

Let’s take an example where your gross monthly income is Rs. 50,000. The following amounts are paid towards debts.

Housing loan EMI = Rs. 10,000

Car EMI = Rs. 6,000

Credit card due = Rs. 3,000

Your monthly loan payments amount Rs. 19,000 in this instance. Thus, the following formula will be used to determine your debt-to-income ratio.

The DTI Ratio

= (Rs. 19,000 ÷ Rs. 50,000) x 100

= 38%.

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What Is A Good Debt-To-Income Ratio?

Your DTI ratio is one factor that banks and other lenders use when determining your ability to repay a new loan that you take out. In general, it will be harder for you to repay a new debt the greater your debt-to-income ratio is. This is due to the fact that a large portion of your income will already be used to pay your current debts.

Here’s a closer look at what various debt-to-income ratio ranges can suggest to a potential lender.

Range of DTI


< 36%

Since your debt is manageable, this is viewed as a positive.


You can still obtain loans without too much difficulty, albeit it may be a little unsettling.


Could point to a problematic debt condition, and some lenders might deny your loan requests for further credit.


Extremely troubling debt levels that make it difficult to obtain additional loans from banks or financial entities

So, the bottom line is that it is advisable to keep your DTI ratio below 36%. It will be simpler for you to repay your loans and you won’t experience any unnecessary financial strain.

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Why Is Debt To Income Ratio Important?

Your DTI ratio affects a number of aspects of your personal finances. It is a crucial indicator that impacts several parts of the loan facilities you qualify for. The main justifications for why your debt-to-income ratio matters are listed below.

It determines if you are qualified for new loans.

Your ability to obtain additional loans and credit facilities is restricted if your debt to income ratio is high. Because of your high existing debt levels, lenders will evaluate your ability to repay them as being diminished. Conversely, if your DTI ratio is lower, it will be simpler for you to qualify for a new loan or credit card.

It significantly affects the credit limits you have access to.

The DTI ratio will limit how much you can borrow, even if you qualify for a new loan or credit facility. Lower credit limits will result from a high DTI ratio since lenders may not be confident in your ability to repay bigger amounts of debt with your existing income.

Your financial goals are impacted

A lot of significant financial objectives, like constructing your ideal home, getting a new car, or paying for your kids’ international education, can call for outside finance. Your ability to reach your financial goals as intended is ultimately impacted by your DTI ratio since it affects your eligibility for credit and the amount of loan that you can borrow.

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How To Lower Your Debt-To-Income Ratio?

If your DTI ratio is too high, consider these strategies to lower it:

Look for ways to supplement your income

In order to enhance your income, you might also take on a side job like teaching, creative freelancing, or working as an online administrator. By doing so, you can create an emergency fund and keep yourself from accruing more debt.

Work on paying down debt

Paying off loans and bringing down debt balances can improve your debt-to-income ratio. Borrowers frequently employ one of two tactics when choosing which loan to pay off first. The debt avalanche strategy is making minimum payments on all of your other bills while focusing on your loan with the highest interest rate first. Over time, using this tactic can help you save money on interest. The second strategy, called debt snowball, instructs debtors to pay off the loan with the lowest balance first while making the minimum payments on all other obligations. By providing tiny victories along the way to debt relief, it keeps borrowers motivated.

Open a debt consolidation loan or balance transfer credit card

Debt consolidation may help you get a better interest rate and pay down your balances quicker; ultimately helping you lower your debt-to-income ratio. Taking out a personal loan or using a credit card with a balance transfer are two popular methods for debt consolidation.

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Invest in a digital chit fund platform like The Money Club and relieve yourself of the stress of maintaining the debt to income ratio in case you want to avail a personal loan in an emergency. Chit funds are a tried-and-true financial tool that has been used in India for ages. Chit Funds’ dual purpose as a financial instrument is an extra benefit. Over the course of two to three years, you invest in a chit plan. You may, however, withdraw the entire chit award money if you want cash during the tenure.

Consequently, there is no need to rely on any debt instrument to meet your urgent financial needs. Within a few days, hassle-free, without any delays or challenges, you can withdraw your investment. On the other hand, if the tenure expires and you haven’t withdrawn, you will earn a very good return on your investment ranging from 10%-15%.

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