Mortgage lenders have long used ratios to determine whether applicants are credit-worthy. Typically, they like to limit your housing expenses to 28 percent of your gross income, and your total debt payments to no more than 36 percent of your income.
To figure out if you're within that range, add up what you spend in a month on your mortgage, home insurance and real estate taxes, and divide that figure by your monthly gross income. Your answer should be under .28.
Go back and add in your car payment, credit card payments and other debt payments to the first total, and divide again by your monthly gross salary. The answer should be under .36.