How Much Income Is Needed for a $140,000 Mortgage?

By Kevin Brouillard · June 03, 2024 · 9 minute read

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How Much Income Is Needed for a $140,000 Mortgage?

Though there’s no specific income requirement for mortgage approval, a $140,000 mortgage would likely require an income of around $45,000 per year. There are a variety of factors that come into play to qualify for a mortgage, including your credit score and existing debt, as well as an income that allows you to manage monthly mortgage payments.

The income needed for a $140K mortgage also depends on the loan term, interest rate, and down payment. These numbers will differ for everyone, so it’s important to understand the key considerations that impact home affordability to determine your homebuying budget.

Income Needed for a $140,000 Mortgage

Lenders look at your income to assess if you can afford monthly mortgage payments. But the monthly payment on a $140,000 mortgage will vary based on several factors. Different types of mortgage loans may require mortgage insurance, an additional monthly expense homebuyers would need to budget for. Putting more money down (typically 20% or more) is one strategy to avoid paying mortgage insurance and to secure a lower interest rate for a lower monthly payment.

Multiple forms of income can count toward mortgage qualification, including dividends, alimony, and child support. Having your pay stubs, W-2s or 1099s, and tax returns ready will help streamline the mortgage preapproval process and mortgage application.

First-time homebuyers can
prequalify for a SoFi mortgage loan,
with as little as 3% down.


How Much Do You Need to Make to Get a $140K Mortgage?

How much income is needed for a $140,000 mortgage? Crunching the numbers with a mortgage calculator or home affordability calculator, you’ll need to make more than $40,000 a year to afford a $140K mortgage. This calculation assumes a 20% down payment of $35,000 on a $175,000 property.

If you have less saved for a down payment, you’ll need to make more to afford the higher monthly payments. And if you have existing debt, such as student loans or an auto loan, you’ll likely need to demonstrate higher income to be approved for a mortgage.

Recommended: Tips to Qualify for a Mortgage

What Is a Good Debt-to-Income Ratio?

Your debt-to-income (DTI) ratio is a comparison of how much you pay in debt each month to how much you earn. It’s calculated by dividing all your fixed monthly debts, such as student loans and auto loans, by your gross monthly income. Having a DTI ratio of 36% or less is generally viewed as favorable by lenders, though the maximum DTI ratio depends on the loan type.

If you have a gross monthly income of $5,000 ($60,000 annual income), your total monthly debts, including the mortgage, would need to be $1,800 or less to stay at or below a 36% DTI ratio.

What Determines How Much House You Can Afford?

Calculating your income is an important first step to determine how much house you can afford. Once you have tallied up your total household income, using the 28/36 rule can help ballpark how much house you can afford. The first number suggests a limit of 28% of gross income going toward mortgage payments, including interest, taxes, and insurance. The second number is the recommended threshold for your DTI ratio: 36%.

If you make $4,000 a month, this comes out to $1,120 and $1,440, respectively. In other words, you could afford a monthly mortgage payment of up to $1,120, assuming your total debt doesn’t surpass $1,440 a month.

Personal finances aside, the type of house you can afford is affected by the location where you’re looking to buy. Home prices and the cost of living by state can vary considerably, even down to the neighborhood level. If you’re flexible about where you’ll purchase your home, take a look at a list of best affordable places by state.

What Mortgage Lenders Look For

Mortgage lenders consider a variety of factors when determining a borrower’s eligibility and the loan terms. This includes credit history, existing debt, income, employment, assets, and down payment amount.

$140,000 Mortgage Breakdown Examples

The total cost of a $140,000 mortgage depends on the interest rate, loan term, taxes, and insurance. Here are some examples to better understand what you might pay for a $140,000 mortgage.

For example, suppose you secure a 30-year fixed mortgage with a 6% interest rate. Using a mortgage calculator, the total principal and interest come out to $839 a month. Shortening to a 15-year loan term would increase this payment to $1,181 a month, but reduce the total interest paid over the life of the loan from $162,174 to $72,651.

Using a mortgage calculator with taxes and insurances can give a clearer picture of your mortgage payment if you can plug in the approximate property taxes, property insurance, and any homeowners association fees. You’ll need to factor in private mortgage insurance if putting less than 20% down.

Pros and Cons of a $140,000 Mortgage

For many, a house is the largest purchase they’ll make in their lifetime, so it’s important to weigh the pros and cons of a $140,000 mortgage. This mortgage amount is lower than the average balance in the U.S. ($244,948), meaning less debt and smaller monthly payments than most homeowners currently have.

On the other hand, the median home sale price was $393,500 in March 2024. So being able to borrow only $140,000 would limit your home-buying options, unless you’re using considerable savings and assets for a hefty down payment.

How Much Will You Need for a Down Payment?

Your down payment is an important factor in determining how much house you can afford. A larger down payment means you’ll be borrowing less, which can result in more competitive interest rates and lower monthly mortgage payments.

The down payment required on a $140,000 mortgage is based on the mortgage type and borrower’s qualifications. But to avoid paying private mortgage insurance, you’ll need to put at least 20% down, or $35,000 in the case of a $140K mortgage.

Recommended: How Much Is a Down Payment on a House?

Can You Buy a $140K Home With No Money Down?

Two types of government-backed mortgages — United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) loans and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) loans — allow eligible homebuyers to purchase a home with no money down. You must meet income and location eligibility requirements to qualify for a USDA loan. Meanwhile, VA loans are reserved for eligible active-duty servicemembers, veterans, National Guard and Reserves members, and surviving spouses.

Can You Buy a $140K Home With a Small Down Payment?

If you don’t qualify for a USDA or VA loan, you could secure a $140K home with a small down payment. A Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loan allows first-time homebuyers to put 3.5% down if their credit score is 580 or higher. Alternatively, borrowers with a credit score of 500 to 579 will need to make a minimum down payment of 10%.

Conventional, fixed-rate mortgage loans can require a down payment as low as 3% – 5% for certain homebuyers.

Is a $140K Mortgage with No Down Payment a Good Idea?

While putting no money down can make home buying more accessible and help keep cash on hand for renovations, there are some drawbacks to consider. For one, putting less money down means borrowing more. With a larger mortgage, you’ll pay more interest over the life of the loan.

Having no down payment also means you’ll have very little equity in your home in the early years of your loan. If property values decrease, you could end up owing more on your house than it’s worth.

Can’t Afford a $140K Mortgage With No Down Payment?

If you can’t afford the higher monthly payments on a $140K mortgage with no down payment, here are some strategies to improve your qualifications as a borrower.

Pay Off Debt

Your DTI ratio is a key factor lenders consider, so focusing on recurring debt is a useful first step to increase how much house you can afford. Focusing on smaller debts that you can pay off in full, such as credit cards or a personal loan, can immediately reduce your monthly debt burden — and your DTI ratio. Tackle high-interest debt first.

Look into First-Time Homebuyer Programs

If you’re a first-time homebuyer, you can take advantage of more flexible loan terms and down payment assistance to make owning a home a reality. As previously mentioned, FHA loans allow qualified buyers to put just 3.5% down on a home. FHA loans offer additional benefits to make home buying more affordable for first-time buyers, including the option to finance closing costs.

First-time buyers can also explore down payment assistance programs through nonprofits, state and local government, and the federal government.

Build Up Credit

Good credit habits may result in a credit score that could lower your mortgage interest rate and increase the amount you’re approved to borrow. To care for your credit score, ensure you’re making minimum payments every month. Lowering your credit utilization — the percentage of credit you’re using on credit cards and other lines of credit — is another way to cultivate a good credit score.

Start Budgeting

Paying off debt and sticking to your savings goals can be a lot easier (or even automated) when you set up a budget. The budgeting process can also help inform how much you can reasonably afford in monthly mortgage payments.

Recommended: How to Make a Budget in 5 Steps

Alternatives to Conventional Mortgage Loans

Homebuyers can explore other means for buying a home besides conventional mortgages and government-backed loans.

•   Adjustable-rate mortgage: Follows a fixed, often lower interest rate for a set period before being subject to fluctuation based on market conditions.

•   Interest-only mortgages: Allows borrowers to make smaller, interest-only monthly payments for a set period before having to cover principal and interest or consider a mortgage refinance.

•   Balloon mortgage: Involves low monthly payments for a short period of time before the entire loan balance comes due at the end of the term.

Mortgage Tips

Once you have a sense of your home-buying budget, you’ll begin to explore your options for a home mortgage loan. (A home loan help center is a good place to start.) As you do this, make sure you take into consideration all the costs associated with obtaining a mortgage from a lender. Once you’ve gathered several options and their associated costs, you’ll be better equipped to make a decision. There are many other tips for shopping for mortgage rates, so study the landscape before you commit.

The Takeaway

The income needed for a $140,000 mortgage depends on a variety of factors, but if you earn in the neighborhood of $45,000 a year, you can likely afford a mortgage of that size, as long as you don’t have significant debt already. Saving up for a down payment, paying off debt, and boosting your credit score could help you qualify for more competitive loan terms.

Looking for an affordable option for a home mortgage loan? SoFi can help: We offer low down payments (as little as 3% - 5%*) with our competitive and flexible home mortgage loans. Plus, applying is extra convenient: It's online, with access to one-on-one help.

SoFi Mortgages: simple, smart, and so affordable.

FAQ

How much house can I afford if I make $36,000 a year?

If you make $36,000 a year and have debts of only about $100 per month, you could afford a $137,000 house. But exactly how much house you can afford depends in part on how much you’ve saved toward a down payment.

How much is a house payment for $140,000?

The house payment for a $140K mortgage depends on the loan term, interest rate, taxes, and insurance costs. If you put 20% down and take out a 30-year fixed-rate $140K mortgage, your monthly payment would be around $1,050, including taxes and insurance.

How much is a $140,000 mortgage over 10 years?

If you pay back a $140,000 home mortgage loan over 10 years at a 6.5% interest rate, your total payment will be $190,760.


Photo credit: iStock/PeopleImages

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*SoFi requires Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) for conforming home loans with a loan-to-value (LTV) ratio greater than 80%. As little as 3% down payments are for qualifying first-time homebuyers only. 5% minimum applies to other borrowers. Other loan types may require different fees or insurance (e.g., VA funding fee, FHA Mortgage Insurance Premiums, etc.). Loan requirements may vary depending on your down payment amount, and minimum down payment varies by loan type.

¹FHA loans are subject to unique terms and conditions established by FHA and SoFi. Ask your SoFi loan officer for details about eligibility, documentation, and other requirements. FHA loans require an Upfront Mortgage Insurance Premium (UFMIP), which may be financed or paid at closing, in addition to monthly Mortgage Insurance Premiums (MIP). Maximum loan amounts vary by county. The minimum FHA mortgage down payment is 3.5% for those who qualify financially for a primary purchase. SoFi is not affiliated with any government agency.
Veterans, Service members, and members of the National Guard or Reserve may be eligible for a loan guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. VA loans are subject to unique terms and conditions established by VA and SoFi. Ask your SoFi loan officer for details about eligibility, documentation, and other requirements. VA loans typically require a one-time funding fee except as may be exempted by VA guidelines. The fee may be financed or paid at closing. The amount of the fee depends on the type of loan, the total amount of the loan, and, depending on loan type, prior use of VA eligibility and down payment amount. The VA funding fee is typically non-refundable. SoFi is not affiliated with any government agency.
Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.

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