Real Estate

Real Estate Investing 101: How DSCR Mortgages Work


In the world of real estate investments and mortgage loans, it’s easy to get lost among all the different loan options available. After all, you want to choose the best mortgage plans for your situation. So the first step is, of course, learning about your options.

Ever heard of a Debt Service Coverage Ratio mortgage? The DSCR mortgage loan is one of the options you should consider if you’re planning on buying an investment property. If you don’t know enough (or anything) about this mortgage plan, don’t stress – we’re here to help.

Today, we’ll tell you all about DSCR mortgages, what they are and how they work so that you can make an informed decision.

What Is a DSCR Mortgage?

To understand what a DSCR mortgage is, we first need to take a step back and look at what Debt Service Coverage Ratio means. In short, your Debt Service Coverage Ratio is the ratio between your net operating income and your debt service.

  • Your debt service is, essentially, all the money you need to pay in order to service your debt – this includes both the principal and the interest.
  • Meanwhile, your net operating income is all the money you have left after you’ve paid for all the necessary expenses associated with owning and running a property – taxes, insurance, repairs, and so on.

Now that we know what those two terms mean, we can better understand a DSCR mortgage. A DSCR mortgage loan is given to you based on your Debt Service Coverage Ratio. For a lender to give you this type of loan, they’ll need to see proof that your property’s DSCR is above.

Keep reading to learn more about how these loans work and if getting DSCR mortgage loans in California is the right choice for you.

How Does a Debt Service Coverage Ratio Mortgage Work?

As we mentioned, a DSCR mortgage loan is given to you based on your Debt Service Coverage Ratio. This number is calculated by taking your net operating income and dividing it by your debt service.

If your property has a DSCR of 1 or more, you’ll be able to make your mortgage payments on time and have enough money left to cover other expenses.

However, if your property has a DSCR of less than 1, you won’t be able to make your mortgage payments on time and cover any other expenses. In this case, the lender will most likely not give you a loan.

The Pros and Cons of a DSCR Loan

Now that you know the basics of a DSCR mortgage, it’s time to look beneath the surface. We want to show you the good and the bad of this type of loan. Of course, there is no perfect loan, so there are both pros and cons you should be aware of. Let’s check out the main pros first.

The Benefits of Debt Service Coverage Ratio Mortgages

  • The lender doesn’t consider your personal income. They are solely interested in the cash flow that the investment property generates. This makes the DSCR loan accessible to people who don’t have a lot of liquid resources.
  • You aren’t required to present your employment history to qualify for this loan.
  • There’s no need to have a perfect credit score – minimum credit is required.
  • The amount of money you can get with this loan is up to 5 million dollars, which is a good range to have when buying an investment property.
  • The closing time is quicker because there are fewer requirements and steps in the review process. So this is a great option if you’re in a rush.
  • There is no limit on the number of properties, which means you are allowed to commit to several properties at once. You can take out several loans for various properties simultaneously, which isn’t the case for loans requiring a one-time commitment to one property.

Overall, there are a lot of good sides to this type of mortgage if you’re in the real estate investment business. But, as always, there are also some disadvantages to consider, even though these loans are pretty flexible.

The Cons to Keep in Mind

  • The required down payment can range from 20% to 25%, depending, of course, on the lender.
  • You need to pay lender and service fees when taking out this loan. These can range from 0.5% to 1% of the loan.
  • Mortgage rates on DSCR loans are usually 1000-2000% higher than rates on traditional loans.
  • As we’ve mentioned, you can get up to $5,000,000 with this loan. But if you need more funds for your investment, a DSCR loan won’t work for you.

When making your decision, you should take into account both of these lists. Weigh the pros and cons and see if this type of mortgage loan is suitable for your investment.

The Application Process for a DSCR Loan

If you’re considering getting a DSCR mortgage, the first step is to speak with a qualified loan officer. They’ll be able to help you determine if this type of loan is right for you and if so, they’ll help you through the application process.

When you apply for a DSCR mortgage, the lender will need to see information about the property. This includes the address, number of units, square footage, and estimated rental income. After that, these are the following steps in the application process:

  1. Finance – the lender determines the loan value, fees, period, and other characteristics of the loan. They also calculate your DSCR.
  2. Paperwork – you need to fill out certain financial forms and paperwork to apply for the loan. Note that the required financial information is regarding your business or rental property, not your personal income.
  3. Submission – you’re not submitting your personal income history, so the closing process is significantly faster than other loans. If you’re approved for the loan, the lender gives you a loan estimate. This includes interest rates, monthly payments, and closing fees. If you accept the terms, you will receive a loan commitment letter. You need to pay a property appraisal and submit it to the lender.
  4. Closing – after the assessment, you just need to sign the final documents and close the loan.

Application Requirements

Finally, we’ll take a look at the application requirements for DSCR mortgages:

  • As we’ve mentioned multiple times, your Debt Service Coverage Ratio is the main requirement.
  • The required credit score is usually 640, which is similar to the requirements for regular property loans. But the minimum credit score depends on the lender and your specific circumstances.

Is This the Right Mortgage Plan for You?

Now that you’ve learned how DSCR mortgages work, the pros and cons, and the application requirements, you’re probably closer to making your decision. The important thing is that you consider how these terms suit your financial needs. Does this type of mortgage make sense for your investment?

We suggest weighing the pros and cons and comparing this loan to other options you’re considering. Once you put pen to paper and think things through, we’re sure you’ll make the right pick. Learn more about the investment opportunities in the real estate field, on this website:


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