Your debt-to-income ratio, or debt ratio, is typically represented as the percentage of your income that goes toward paying your debt. A lot of lenders, especially mortgage and auto lenders, use your debt ratio to evaluate your credit worthiness, i.e., how much of a loan you can handle. For example, a mortgage lender will use your debt ratio to figure out the mortgage payment you can afford after your other monthly debts are paid. Debt ratio considerations are as important as your credit score. While your credit score reflects how responsible you are in paying your bills, your debt ratio gives potential creditors additional insight into your personal finances. Your debt ratio shows just how much debt you're juggling as compared to your income. It's possible that someone with a good credit score could be turned down for a mortgage or home loan because lenders feel the borrower is simply carrying too much debt, despite a steady history of on-time payments.