Does Student Loan Debt Affect Buying A House

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You can definitely secure a home loan even if you have student loan debt, as long as you meet the lender’s requirements. However, having student loan debt might pose some challenges when purchasing a home. 

Lenders will carefully assess your financial circumstances, including the ratio of your debt to income, to ensure that you’re capable of repaying the loan.

Here are few of the key takeaways which will help you understand how a student loan debt can affect a buying a house: 

  • When you’ve got student loan debt, it affects something called your debt-to-income ratio, or DTI. Lenders check out this ratio to figure out if you’re a good bet as a borrower.
  • The higher your debt load, the lower your credit score tends to be. And guess what? Lenders look at your credit score to gauge how risky it might be to lend you money.
  • Here’s some good news: certain kinds of home loans come with lower DTI criteria and require smaller down payments.

How Student Loan Debt Impacts Your Eligibility for a Home Loan?

Having student loan debt can really throw a wrench into your plans of getting a home loan. 


Well, for starters, it messes with something called your debt-to-income ratio, or DTI. This ratio is what lenders look at to decide if you’re too risky to lend money to.

Your DTI basically shows how much of your monthly income goes towards paying off debts. Most lenders like to see this ratio at 36% or lower, but some are a bit more flexible. If your DTI is sky-high, it’s going to be tough to convince a lender to give you that home loan.

Then there’s your credit score. It’s influenced by a bunch of things, like your payment history, how much credit you’re using, and how long you’ve had credit. Paying off your student loans on time for a while can actually boost your credit score. 

But, if you’ve ever missed payments or let your loans go into default, your credit score has likely taken a hit. And it takes a while for it to bounce back from a default.

Having student debt also messes with your credit utilization ratio, which is basically how much debt you have compared to how much credit you have available. The less student debt you have compared to your income, the easier it’ll be to snag a home loan with decent rates.

If your student debt is getting out of control, don’t panic! There are some top-notch credit counseling services out there that might be able to help you get things back on track.

Difference Between a Home Loan and a Mortgage

People often use “home loan” and “mortgage” interchangeably, but technically, they’re not exactly the same. 

A mortgage is a specific type of loan that’s tied to the property you’re buying. On the other hand, a home loan is usually a mortgage used specifically for purchasing a house.

However, the term “home loan” can also refer to any kind of debt taken out to buy a home. This could include unsecured personal loans or loans secured by a different asset. 

One big advantage of these types of home loans is that if you can’t pay, your home won’t be at risk of foreclosure like it would be with a traditional mortgage. Regardless of the type of home loan, student loan debt can impact your ability to buy a home in similar ways.

Just remember, unsecured home loans often come with higher interest rates compared to secured ones. Plus, it might be tough to find a lender willing to give you enough money to buy a house without using a mortgage.

If you’ve got enough cash saved up, you could skip the home loan altogether and buy the house outright. That’d save you a ton of money in interest in the long run. But if you’re still paying off student loans, saving up that much cash might be a challenge.

Best Home Loans for Borrowers With Student Loan Debt

If you’re stressing about whether you can get a home loan with your student loans hanging over you, it’s a good idea to explore your options.

The most usual type of home loan is called a conventional loan. These are private loans you can get from banks, credit unions, or even online lenders. Then there are government-backed home loans like FHA loans, VA loans, and USDA home loans.

Sl No.

Type of Loan

Interest Rates

Loan Terms

DTI Required

Down Payment

Credit Requirement



6.12% to 6.77% for fixed rates

10 to 30 years

Up to 50%

As low as 3%

Typically 620



7.29% for fixed rate

15 or 30 years

Up to 50%

3.5% and up

580 for 3.5% down, 500 for 10% down



6.96% for fixed rate

30 years







30 years




Tips for Getting a Home Loan With Student Loan Debt

Lenders and the types of loans they offer can vary a lot in terms of what they provide. So, it’s smart to check out different home loan options to see which one fits your needs the best.

Here are few tips to get a home loan with student loan debt:

  1. Document your student loan debt
  2. Work with home loan providers
  3. Take charge of your student debt now

Let us understand each of the tips one by one below:

1. Document your student loan debt

When you’re filling out your home loan application, make sure you’re straight-up and honest with your potential lender. They’re going to dig into your financial stuff and do a thorough check on your credit. 

So, if you can, give them all the details and documents about your student loan situation. That includes stuff like recent payments, who your lender is, and even your tax returns to show how you’ve been handling your loans and if you’ve paid any off. Being upfront about it all can make the process smoother.

2. Work with home loan providers

Having a chat with a home loan provider about your situation and what you’re looking for can really help figure out the best loan type for you. 

It might turn out that you need some more time to tackle your student loan debt before jumping into a home loan. On the flip side, you might realize you’re actually in a good spot to buy a home, even with those student loans hanging over you.

Now, if you decide to go the mortgage route, the one that suits you best will depend on your specific circumstances. Maybe you qualify for a VA loan, which doesn’t ask for a down payment or a minimum credit score. 

Or, on the other hand, your debt-to-income ratio might be too high for a VA loan, so a conventional loan could be a better match.

3. Take charge of your student debt now

Since you’ll be juggling both your student loan and home loan payments, it’s a smart move to make your student loan situation easier to handle before diving into a home loan. 

There are a few tricks you can try, like consolidating or refinancing your loans, or switching to a different repayment plan. For federal student loans, there’s something called an income-driven repayment (IDR) plan, which private loans don’t offer. 

This plan figures out your monthly payments based on your income and family size. Signing up for an IDR plan could free up some extra cash that you could then put towards your home loan payments, making you look better to lenders.

Final Thoughts

So, here’s the deal: you can totally buy a home even if you’ve got student loan debt, but it all comes down to your income and how much debt you’re already dealing with. The more debt you’ve got, though, the tougher it might be to swing it. 

Take a good look at all the home loan options out there and crunch the numbers to see if you can handle adding another monthly payment to your plate, especially with those student loans hanging over you. 

Sometimes, you might need to knock down some of that debt before a lender will give you the green light for a home loan.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Does Student Debt Affect My Credit Score?

Your student loan debt can mess with your credit score in a few different ways. The more debt you’ve got, the lower your score tends to be. And if you happen to miss a payment or go into default, yep, your score takes a hit too. 

But here’s the flip side: paying your student loans on time can actually boost your credit score. It’s like a little pat on the back from the credit gods, showing that you’re handling your money responsibly.

What’s an Ideal DTI Ratio?

So, your perfect debt-to-income (DTI) ratio? Well, that kinda depends on who you’re borrowing from and what kind of home loan you’re eyeing up. Most lenders prefer to see a DTI under 36%, but there are some who might be cool with ratios up to 43% or even more. 

The lower your DTI, though, the better you come off to lenders. It’s like a gold star on your loan application, boosting your chances of getting that home loan approved.

Should I Pay Off My Student Loans Before Buying a House?

Guess what? You can totally still buy a home even if you’re chipping away at those pesky student loans. But here’s the thing: the more cash you’ve got to throw at your home and all the stuff that comes with it, the smoother sailing it’ll be to handle your debt and other bills each month. 

And here’s a neat perk: paying off those student loans can up your chances of snagging a home loan with the sweetest interest rate.

How Can I Know if I’m Eligible for Loan Forgiveness?

Hey, guess what? If you’re a teacher or you work for the government or a non-profit, there’s a chance you could get your student loans forgiven. 

And if you’ve been chipping away at your loans with an IDR plan, you might qualify after making 20 or 25 years of on-time payments. It’s worth giving your lender a shout to see if you’re eligible for forgiveness.

Can I Roll My Student Loan Debt Into a New Mortgage?

So, here’s the scoop: you could possibly roll your student loan debt into your mortgage by refinancing your current home loan. But if you’re thinking of getting a new mortgage for a new home, that won’t fly. 

But hold up, there’s a catch. Refinancing to squash your student loans can bite you in the wallet. You might end up shelling out more cash in interest over the long haul. Plus, if you’ve got federal student loans, say goodbye to perks like deferred payments, forbearance, forgiveness, or those handy alternative repayment plans.

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