How To Get A Loan With A High Debt-To-Income Ratio


When applying for a loan, having a high debt-to-income ratio can be an obstacle. Your debt-to-income ratio is the amount of money you owe in comparison to your income. Every lender has a different requirement when it comes to this ratio, so it’s important to understand what factors go into this and how you can improve it. Let’s dive into the details of how to get a loan with a high debt-to-income (DTI) ratio. 

Considerations for getting a loan with a high debt-to-income ratio

If you know your debt-to-income ratio is high, it’s important to take some things into consideration before applying for a loan

Assess your current financial situation

If you have a high DTI ratio, it means that you have a large portion of your income going toward debt payments. Make sure you can afford the loan payment before taking on more debt.

Do you receive regular bonuses from work? Are there additional sources of income such as rental properties or side hustles? Is there anything you can pay off to lower the ratio? All of these additional funds can help reduce your monthly expenses and lower your overall debt burden, which can help reduce your overall DTI and make it more likely that lenders will approve your loan application. 

Calculate your debt-to-income ratio

To calculate your DTI ratio, you need to first add up all of your monthly debt payments, such as rent or mortgage, car loan payments, student loans and any other credit card or loan payments, and divide that number by your gross monthly income. The result is your debt-to-income ratio. This is an important number because it tells lenders how much of your income is going toward paying off debt versus how much is available for other expenses.

The required DTI ratio can vary depending on the lender and the amount of the loan. Some lenders may be more flexible with DTI ratio requirements for smaller loans.

Review your credit report

Your credit score plays an important role in determining whether lenders are willing to take on risk by offering you financing. If you have missed payments or other negative marks on your credit report, lenders may be less likely to offer you financing options with favorable terms. It’s important to review and address any issues on your credit report before applying for new loans if possible. 

Try increasing your income

There are several ways to increase your income that can help improve your debt-to-income ratio. One way is to look for a new job that pays more. Researching salary trends in the industries you’re interested in can give you a good idea of whether you may be able to make more money. You can also ask for a raise at your current job, or try to pick up some extra hours or additional work on the side outside of regular work hours. Taking on freelance work or starting a business are other options that could increase monthly earnings and improve financial stability overall.

Offer collateral

Collateral is a form of security that can be offered when applying for a loan. It’s a form of asset or property that can be used to secure the loan and ensure that if the borrower defaults on the loan, the lender has something to recoup some of their losses. Offering collateral can help increase the chances of loan approval, but it also carries certain risks.

If you don’t keep up with your payments, the lender can seize your collateral and sell it for profit. This means that any asset or property you put up as collateral will no longer be yours, and whatever equity value it had before will be lost. 

Apply for a secured loan

If you have a high DTI and need money but have some assets, one option is a secured loan. These loans require some type of collateral from the borrower in exchange for the loan funds. This collateral could be in the form of an asset such as a vehicle, real estate or other valuable property. By providing the lender with this form of security, borrowers with higher DTIs are more likely to qualify for loans because their collateral provides some assurance that the debt will be paid back. 

Consider a credit-builder loan

Another option is a credit-builder loan. These loans are an effective way to improve a high DTI ratio by providing an opportunity to establish and build credit while also getting you the cash you need. Credit-builder loans are designed specifically for people who have limited or poor credit histories. 

These types of loans involve the loan amount being held in a savings account. You’ll make regular payments until the loan is paid off, at which point the savings account will be released and available for your use. During this time, the lender reports the payments to all three major credit bureaus — Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax. 

Ask a co-signer

A co-signer is someone who agrees to take responsibility for the loan if you’re unable to make payments or default on the loan. When you have a co-signer, lenders consider it much less risky because they now have two people responsible for making sure the payments are made. This can give them more confidence in approving your application even if your DTI ratio doesn’t meet their standards. 

For someone to be a co-signer, they must meet certain criteria set by the lender. Typically, they must have good credit history and an income that can support repayment of the loan should it become necessary. 

Having a co-signer also means both of you are legally liable for repaying the loan, which also means that both credit scores can suffer if payments are missed. It’s important that everyone involved understands these risks before entering into this kind of arrangement. 

Look into refinancing your loans

If your existing loans are keeping your DTI high, refinancing them to get a lower interest rate may be an option. By refinancing at a lower interest rate, you’ll lower your monthly payment and bring down your DTI. 

When considering refinancing your loans, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, you want to make sure that the new interest rate is lower than the current rate on your loan. Second, you should take into account any potential fees that may be associated with refinancing. This may include closing costs, origination fees, or other associated costs. You will want to make sure that the length of time for repayment is something that works for you; if you switch from a shorter-term loan to a longer-term loan, this will result in paying more money over time because of accruing interest.

Explore debt consolidation

If you’re struggling with a high DTI and having trouble keeping your head above water, debt consolidation is worth exploring. 

When consolidating debt, multiple high-interest payments are combined into one low-interest loan. This lowers the monthly payments, freeing up cash and making it easier to meet your financial obligations. By reducing your DTI, you’ll become more attractive to lenders and creditors by demonstrating improved creditworthiness and financial discipline. 

Seek out a credit counselor

Credit counseling is an important step for anyone looking to take control of their financial situation. Credit counselors help people examine their current financial condition and identify areas where they can make changes or develop better habits to improve their financial well-being. These counselors provide a comprehensive approach to personal finance that helps people manage their money more effectively.

If you’re experiencing financial difficulties, credit counseling can be a valuable tool in developing debt-management plans, reducing expenses, and improving budgeting practices. It can also provide guidance on how to handle collection agencies, establish credit repair services, negotiate with creditors, create a household budget, and eliminate debt. 

Steps to get a loan with a high debt-to-income ratio

If you have a high debt-to-income ratio and you’re trying to get a loan, you can take several steps to boost your odds of approval. 

Compare lenders and loan terms

Generally, it’s recommended that borrowers keep their DTI ratio below 43%, but some lenders will offer loans with higher ratios depending on your credit and income situation. Shop around for different lenders that offer loans with higher DTIs than most banks and traditional lending institutions. This includes online lenders such as peer-to-peer lending companies or niche financing companies that specialize in certain types of loans or borrowers with specific credit profiles. Compare the interest rates and fees associated with each loan option before making a decision so that you select one that works best for your situation. 

Collect your documents

Make sure you have all of your financial documents in order so that when applying for the loan, you can accurately provide all required information about your finances. This includes:

  • pay stubs (or other proof of regular income)
  • bank statements
  • tax returns
  • recent bills 
  • other necessary documents

Having these documents organized beforehand will make the process much smoother when you’re ready to apply. Be prepared to explain any discrepancies in your credit report or other financial documents and provide any additional information that may be requested by the lender. 

Review loan terms 

Once approved for a loan, closely review all payment requirements, including principal payments, interest rate, fees, and any other costs associated with servicing the debt to avoid issues down the line in terms of affordability or defaulting on payments. By doing this last step properly, you will be on your way to securing an appropriate loan despite having high levels of existing debt relative to your income level.

Close on the loan and begin repayment

Closing on a loan means signing the documents that officially commit you to the borrowing terms and establish your obligations as a borrower. The closing marks the final step in agreeing to the loan and sealing your commitment, but making payments on time with a high DTI is essential if you want to improve your credit score. 

Options While You Bring Down Your DTI 

Your DTI is just one of the factors lenders consider when determining whether to approve your loan application. Lenders will also look at your credit score, employment history, and other financial factors to assess your overall creditworthiness. Although a high DTI ratio makes loan approval more of a challenge, it’s not impossible. You have options but should make lowering your DTI a priority. 


Is it possible to get a mortgage with a high debt-to-income ratio?

It is possible to get a mortgage with a high debt-to-income ratio, though it may be difficult depending on your credit score and other factors. Generally, if you have a high DTI, lenders may not be willing to approve the loan. That being said, there are ways for you to reduce your DTI and make yourself more attractive to potential lenders.

Can you get a home equity loan with a high debt-to-income ratio?

Getting a home equity loan with a high debt-to-income (DTI) ratio is possible, but it can be difficult. Potential lenders generally look for a DTI of 43% or less to qualify for a loan, though some lenders may offer loans to those with higher ratios. Some options for people with high DTIs include debt consolidation loans, secured loans, and unsecured personal loans.

What kind of personal loan can I get with a high debt-to-income ratio?

Depending on how high your DTI is, some personal loan options include secured loans, credit-builder loans, payday loans, and peer-to-peer loans.

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