What is a Debt Service Coverage Ratio loan?
Debt Service Coverage Ratio (DSCR) is a financial ratio used by lenders to assess a borrower's ability to repay a loan. The Debt Service Coverage Ratio is calculated as the relationship between the borrower's net operating income and the total debt service (including both principal and interest payments) on a loan.
How to calculate DSCR?
The Debt Service Coverage Ratio (DSCR) is calculated as follows:
DSCR = Net Operating Income / Total Debt Service
Net Operating Income: This is the total income generated by a property or business after operating expenses have been deducted. Operating expenses include expenses such as property management fees, utilities, repairs, and maintenance.
Total Debt Service: This is the total amount of principal and interest payments due on a loan over a specified period of time.
A DSCR of 1.0 means that a borrower's net operating income is equal to the total debt service on a loan, while a ratio greater than 1.0 indicates that the borrower has sufficient income to cover debt service. A ratio less than 1.0 suggests that the borrower's income is insufficient to cover debt service and may indicate higher default risk.
How do Lenders use DSCR?
Lenders typically use the DSCR as a guideline to assess the risk associated with a loan and to determine the feasibility of a loan request. A higher DSCR can lead to a more favorable loan decision and more favorable loan terms, while a lower DSCR can result in a loan being denied or offered with more stringent terms.
Rex Rodenbaugh of KC Invetor Funding explains, "The premise is that the loan is heavily based on the income performance of the rental property rather than the qualifications of the borrower. The higher the income is versus the costs (principal, interest, taxes, insurance, HOA), the stronger the deal. It general, it takes about 25-40 days to close a DSCR loan for a rental property. DSCR loans are viewed as commercial loans, and are typically only offered to an LLC, not an individual. As a result, these loans require a lot less documentation - for example no tax returns are typically required. DSCR loans usually only require bank statements, entity documents, and a lease agreement. Lastly, DSCR loans are usually easier to qualify for; however, credit score is important. Usually 660 is the lowest acceptable score. The higher the score, the better rates and terms you will get as a real estate investor".
If a borrower has a high DSCR, it suggests to the lender that they have sufficient income to cover the debt service on the loan, which reduces the risk of default. In this case, the lender may be more likely to approve the loan and offer more favorable terms, such as lower interest rates, longer repayment terms, or higher loan amounts.
If a borrower has a low DSCR, it indicates to the lender that their income is insufficient to cover the debt service, which increases the risk of default. In this case, the lender may be more cautious in approving the loan and may offer less favorable terms, such as higher interest rates, shorter repayment terms, or lower loan amounts. In some cases, the loan may be denied altogether.
It's important to keep in mind that the DSCR is just one of many factors that lenders consider when evaluating a loan application. Other factors, such as credit history, collateral, and the purpose of the loan, can also play a role in loan approval and terms.
If you don't qualify for a loan based on Debt Service Coverage Ratio (DSCR), it means that your income is not sufficient to cover the debt service on the loan you're applying for. This can make it difficult to get approved for the loan, as lenders use the DSCR as a measure of your ability to repay the loan.
Ways to Qualify for DSCR Loan
If you don't meet the DSCR requirements, there are a few options you may consider:
- Improve your income: Increasing your income can help improve your DSCR, making you a more attractive candidate for a loan. You may be able to do this by taking on additional work or starting a side business.
- Reduce your debt: Reducing your current debt obligations can also improve your DSCR. You may be able to do this by paying off high-interest debt, negotiating lower interest rates, or consolidating debt.
- Look for alternative funding: If you can't get a loan based on DSCR, you may be able to find alternative funding options, such as grants, crowdfunding, or equity investment.
- Consider a co-signer: Having a co-signer with a strong credit history and income can improve your chances of getting a loan, as their income and credit will be taken into consideration.
Alternate Options for DSCR Loan
It's important to keep in mind that even if you don't qualify for a DSCR loan, you may still be able to find alternative financing options that meet your needs. Some of the most common alternative funding options include:
- Bridge loans: Bridge loans are short-term loans that are designed to provide funding while you work on improving your financial position and qualifying for more traditional financing.
- Hard money loans: Hard money loans are typically provided by private investors and are based on the value of the property, rather than the borrower's credit or financial position. They are usually more expensive than traditional loans, but can be easier to obtain for borrowers with low DSCRs.
- Mezzanine financing: Mezzanine financing involves the issuance of debt or equity securities that are junior to a traditional loan. This type of financing can provide additional capital while preserving your existing equity stake in the property.
- Crowdfunding: Crowdfunding is a method of financing a project or business by obtaining small amounts of money from a large number of people, usually through an online platform.
- Joint ventures: Joint ventures involve partnering with another company or individual to finance a project or property. This can provide access to additional capital and expertise, and can be a good option for borrowers with low DSCRs who need help improving their financial position.
It's important to carefully consider the terms and conditions of any alternative funding options, as they may come with higher interest rates, shorter repayment periods, and other unfavorable terms. You may also want to consider working with a financial advisor or loan broker to help you find the best funding options for your situation.
Click here to read our Ultimate Guide to Financing a Rental Property.
People Also Ask
How is a Debt Service Coverage Ratio (DSCR) calculated?
The Debt Service Coverage Ratio (DSCR) is calculated as follows: DSCR = Net Operating Income / Total Debt Service Net Operating Income: This is the total income generated by a property or business after operating expenses have been deducted. Operating expenses include expenses such as property management fees, utilities, repairs, and maintenance. Total Debt Service: This is the total amount of principal and interest payments due on a loan over a specified period of time.
How does the DSCR impact loan approval and terms?
The Debt Service Coverage Ratio (DSCR) is a key factor that lenders consider when evaluating a loan application. A high DSCR can increase the chances of loan approval and improve loan terms, while a low DSCR can make it more difficult to get approved and lead to less favorable loan terms.
What is a good DSCR and what is considered low?
A good DSCR is typically considered to be 1.2 or higher, meaning that the property generates 20% more income than is required to pay off its debt. A ratio of 1.0 means that the property's net operating income is exactly equal to the annual debt service, which is the minimum acceptable level for most lenders. A DSCR that is less than 1.0 is considered low, meaning that the property does not generate enough income to cover its debt obligations. This can indicate that the property is not a good investment, as the borrower may struggle to make loan payments and may be at risk of default. Lenders may be less likely to approve a loan for a property with a low DSCR, or they may require additional collateral or higher interest rates to compensate for the higher risk.
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