Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Debt to Income Ratio - It Makes NO Sense!!

Figuring out one's income to debt ratio is a confusing business. There's the front end ratio and the back end ratio...some calculators use gross income, some are for "disposable" income etc etc.

Here's a link for calculating yours if you're interested:

Canadians' debt to income ratio is the highest it's ever been at 148.1%. What does this mean exactly??  What "they" would have us believe is that for every $100 we earn we pay $148 on our debt. HOWEVER...their calculations are based on "disposable income" and it doesn't state whether they are using gross income or net income and whether such things as mortgage payments are included or whether they are using just personal debt like credit cards and what, if anything, is being deducted in order to determine "disposable income"...things like insurance.

So the 148.1% is kinda ambiguous. All of those variations listed above make a huge difference in one's calculations.

For example:
  • if I include my PEI mortgage payment and use my net monthly income my debt to income ratio is 35.7%
  • if I don't include my PEI mortgage payment the ratio becomes 31.25%
  • if I use my gross income the ratio drops to a jaw-dropping 17% (I got this low ratio using the calculator link provided above for MSN Money
So you can see what different ratios you can achieve by making an adjustment or two which REALLY makes me wonder how "they" achieved the 148.1% ratio.  If anyone can give me a concrete answer on this I am dying to know!! Can you tell I've had a LOT of time on my hands today??


  1. No idea on this one, sorry! I'm just thankful to not be in that 148.1% ratio! lol!

  2. By the time I tried to work that all out my head would be spinning.

    On a different note, I love that my little Australian star was twinkling while reading your blog, really cute.


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