What Is Loan-to-Value Ratio: Mortgage Factor

When applying for a home loan, there are a number of factors you have to take into account. Loan to value is one of the key issues that will determine whether you get that loan.

Mortgage Factors: Loan to Value

When considering an application for a mortgage, lenders look at a number of factors. Regardless of the type of loan, they always look at loan to value ratios. The loan to value ration is simply a calculation that tells the lender and you the value of the property in question versus the amount of the loan. The ratio is determined by dividing the appraised value of the home by the amount sought for the home loan. For instance, assume a home is appraised at $200,000. If you apply for a $160,000 home loan, the loan to value is 80 percent.

In evaluating any loan of any type, lenders try to evaluate the risk factor. By risk, they are trying to ascertain the chance you will default on the loan and leave them holding the property. The loan to value ration is one of the factors used to determine risk. Simply put, the larger the loan to value ratio, the more risk the lender has of getting stuck with the property. The higher the risk level, the more picky the lender is going to be about other factors in the application process such as income, credit and so on.

The magic number with loan to value rations is 80 percent. If you can come up with sufficient cash to put down 20 percent on a property, the lender will consider the loan to be less risky. Put in practical terms, the lender knows you aren’t about to walk away from your large cash down payment if you can help it. Thus, there is less risk in granting the loan.

If you are applying for a mortgage with a high loan to value ratio, you need to make sure you have excellent credit and a strong history of employment. An application with 90 or 100 percent loan to value is going to make a lender risk sensitive, so you can expect it to be much harder to get the loan.

In the current home financing market, the loan to value ratio is not as critical as it used to be. There are now a bevy of lenders that specialize in particular types of loans, particularly high loan to value ratio mortgages. If you are looking at a high loan to value ratio, a mortgage broker is your best option to finding the best deal.