Tips for Loan Officers: Managing Debt to Income Ratios in Non-QM Loans

• ByAHL Funding Press

Table of Contents

Tips for Loan Officers: Managing Debt to Income Ratios in Non-QM Loans

For loan officers, one of the pivotal metrics when evaluating a borrower’s loan application is the Debt-to-Income (DTI) ratio. It’s a clear indicator of a borrower’s ability to manage monthly debt payments relative to their gross monthly income. When navigating the world of Non-QM loans, managing this ratio becomes even more critical.

Why? Non-QM loans, by their very nature, cater to borrowers who might not fit the conventional loan mold. As such, understanding and effectively managing DTI can be the key to unlocking financing for many clients.

Here are some essential tips to ensure you’re optimizing the DTI ratio for your Non-QM loan clients:

1. Understand the Nuances

Before diving deep, familiarize yourself with the specifics of DTI in Non-QM loans:

  • Higher Allowances: Unlike conventional loans that typically cap DTI at around 43%, Non-QM loans can have higher allowances. For instance, AHL CORE allows up to a 55% DTI.
  • Comprehensive Evaluation: Non-QM lenders like AHL Funding look at the full financial picture rather than just the DTI.

2. Educate Your Borrowers

Ensuring borrowers understand the implications of DTI can lead to smoother loan processes:

  • Highlight Its Importance: Let clients know that a favorable DTI can increase their borrowing capacity.
  • Offer Practical Steps: Advise borrowers on ways to decrease their debt or increase their income to optimize their DTI ratio.

3. Use Alternative Documentation

With Non-QM loans, you aren’t restricted to W-2s or pay stubs:

  • Bank Statement Loans: These can be invaluable for self-employed borrowers. AHL’s programs allow for 12 or 24-month bank statement evaluations.
  • Asset-Based Qualifications: As seen in AHL’s Asset Only Program, assets can sometimes be used to demonstrate the ability to repay.

4. Consider Compensating Factors

DTI is crucial, but it’s just a piece of the puzzle:

  • Reserves: A borrower with significant savings or investments can offset a higher DTI.
  • Stable Employment: A long tenure in a job or industry can be a favorable compensating factor.
  • Credit History: A strong credit score and history can provide additional confidence to lenders.

5. Stay Updated with Industry Standards

The Non-QM loan sector is dynamic:

  • Regularly Review Guidelines: Understand the evolving criteria set by lenders like AHL Funding.
  • Participate in Training: Take advantage of seminars, webinars, or courses focused on Non-QM loans to remain at the forefront.


In the world of Non-QM loans, the DTI ratio is an essential, yet flexible metric. With a deeper understanding, effective strategies, and the right lending partners, you can unlock opportunities for a wider range of borrowers. In doing so, you not only elevate your service but also position yourself as a knowledgeable and trusted expert in the field.

Relevant Statistics:

  • Approximately 30% of U.S. workers are self-employed, making Non-QM loans with flexible DTI considerations increasingly relevant.
  • As of 2021, Non-QM loans saw a resurgence, accounting for nearly $40 billion in originations.

Interested in diving deeper into the world of Non-QM loans and broadening your client offerings? Explore AHL Funding’s diverse loan solutions tailored for the modern borrower.

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