If you were declined and High Debt-to-Income (DTI) + High Utilization was cited as the reason, it may be because you currently have too much debt compared to the amount of income you earn each month.
To improve your DTI ratio, consider:
- Paying more than your minimum on monthly debt payments
- Avoiding taking on more debt than what you already have
- Finding ways to increase your income with an alternate side hustle or part-time job
- Keeping your budget tight and curbing any extra spending
High utilization generally refers to your level of revolving credit card debt. It’s generally advised that you keep your utilization below 30% to improve your credit, so if you’re carrying balances that are over 30% of your credit limit, that could be part of the reason you were declined. You can improve your utilization by paying down your balances until they’re under 30% of your limit.
30% of your FICO score is determined by your credit utilization ratio, so lowering yours is a great place to start when working to improve your credit health.
You can calculate credit utilization yourself using this formula:
(Total credit card balances / Total credit limit) x 100 = % Credit Utilization