Can I change jobs while buying a house?

After you’re pre-approved for a mortgage loan, any drastic changes to your credit score, debt and income can quickly derail the process.

When possible, we suggest our buyers avoid job changes, making big purchases and opening new lines of credit until after their loan closes.

If you’re interested in buying a new home or refinancing your current mortgage – and you’re contemplating a career change – here are a few things you should know.

Before Applying for a Mortgage

Sometimes, job changes are unavoidable. If you’re on the hunt for a new job, for one reason or another, we recommend that you get settled before applying for a mortgage.

You’ll be asked to submit pay stubs for approval, so it’s best to wait 30 days before reaching out to a lender about financing. Most jobs changes should not impact your mortgage application if you haven’t applied for a mortgage yet.

According to industry experts, “You still need income that is reliable, stable and likely to continue in the future. And your new job should be an upward – or at least lateral – move within the same industry. As long as those criteria are met, changing jobs before you buy a house shouldn’t be a problem.”

While You’re in Process

When you apply for a mortgage, you’re approved based on the information you submit. If anything changes throughout the process – your income, debts, assets – please let your Loan Officer know immediately.

When you change jobs applying for a loan, we will have to start over again at the beginning. New documentation will need to be collected and your debt-to-income will need to be recalculated.

Best case scenario, you’re approved based on your new job after a short delay.

Worst case scenario, you’re denied based on your rate of pay or pay structure.   

After the Loan Closes

After your loan closes, and you have the keys for your new home in hand, you’re free to change jobs. We will not reopen your loan or verify your income unless you reach out about refinancing in the future.

Your job change may impact your ability to refinance at a later date, but we can tackle that when the time is right.

Other Factors to Consider

Promotions: If you receive a promotion from your current company while in process, no need to worry! If your salaried or hourly rate-of-pay is increasing, and your pay structure is not changing, a promotion will likely increase your buying power.

Changes in Pay Structure: Commissioned employees may have the ability to earn more, but this pay structure can also complicate the mortgage process. Often times, commission pay cannot be counted as income unless it has been received for 12-24 months. The same is true for bonuses received.

If you have additional questions about your employment status and its impact on the mortgage process, give us a call. We’re happy to help in any way we can!

What is debt-to-income ratio?

Your debt-to-income (DTI) ratio is the percentage of your income that goes toward paying your monthly debts. DTI can often be overlooked as many people assume that a good credit score and a high income are the only two factors needed to be taken into consideration when seeking to purchase a home.

However, for many lenders, that’s not enough to be considered a good mortgage candidate. As a borrower, your DTI is utilized in various situations to determine your level of risk. For instance, if your DTI is too high, opportunities to make a big purchase, such as a mortgage, may be limited.

How to Calculate Your DTI Ratio

DTI Ratio = (Monthly expenses ÷ Pre-Tax Income) x 100
Start by adding up your monthly bills such as:

  • Rent or house payment
  • Alimony or child support
  • Student loans
  • Auto payments
  • Other

Next, divide your total sum by your gross monthly income (income before taxes). Multiply by 100. Your result is your DTI ratio.

The goal is to keep your DTI ratio as low as possible. The lower the ratio, the less risky you are to lenders. An adequate DTI ratio is below 36 percent. Typically, having a DTI ratio of 43 percent is the maximum ratio you can have in order to be qualified for a mortgage.

Front-End DTI vs. Back-End DTI

There are two variations of DTI: Front-End and Back-End.

A front-end DTI calculates how much of a person’s gross income is going towards housing costs.
Front-End DTI = (Housing Expenses ÷ Gross Monthly Income) x 100

A back-end DTI calculates the percentage of gross income going toward other types of debt (credit cards, car loans, etc.).
Back-End DTI = (Total monthly debt expense ÷ Gross Monthly Income) x 100

The main difference between Front-End and Back-End DTI ratios is that the front-end ratio only considers the mortgage payment and other housing expenses whereas the back-end ratio considers all other types of debt. Lenders will utilize this ratio in conjunction with the front-end ratio to approve mortgages.

Why is Knowing Your DTI Ratio Important?

Your DTI ratio is utilized by lenders as a measuring tool. Your DTI ratio helps lenders determine your ability to manage your finances, specifically, your monthly payments to repay the money you borrowed. Keep in mind that lenders do not know what you will do with your money in the future, so they refer to historical data to verify your income and debt totals. Moreover, your DTI ratio illustrates that you have a sufficient balance between your income and debt, thus, are more likely to be able to manage your mortgage payments.

If you are considering buying a home or have questions about your DTI ratio, give us a call!