So, you’ve saved up a down payment, you know you’re not going to be house poor and now you want to start your house search. Before you begin, you should get pre-approved for a mortgage from your financial institution.

Here’s how to wow your financial institution before you buy a house.

1. A credit score of 700 or over will show your bank that you are able to handle making debt payments.

2. Your Total Debt Service Ratio should not be more than 40% of your monthly gross income to be a desirable candidate for a mortgage.

Your totally debt service ratio is your entire monthly housing costs plus all of your other debt payments divided by your monthly GROSS income.

Your monthly housing costs are (mortgage payment, property tax and heating costs). Other debt payments include car leases, credit card payments, student loans etc.


My total housing costs $2000/month and my car payment and student loan payments are $500. I make $50,000/year (gross) so my monthly gross income is $4166.

In this example, my TDSR is 40% so I’m in the clear.

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