Debt Service Coverage Ratio: DSCR loan Pros and Cons

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The Debt Service Coverage Ratio loan, or DSCR loan as it is more commonly called, is a unique form of financing frequently used by investors or buyers of commercial real estate. The building’s ability to pay off debt is determined by comparing its annual revenue to its debt payments. However, is this method advantageous?

It has some disadvantages as well, which should be understood before applying for a loan, so we should all be curious about that! These DSCR loan benefits and drawbacks will all be covered in this article to help you make a better decision!

How Does a DSCR Loan Work?

One easy way to find out if a rental property generates enough revenue to pay its bills is to look at the debt service coverage ratio (DSCR). It examines the annual rental income generated by the property concerning the expenses incurred for upkeep such as mortgage, taxes, insurance, and homeowner association dues.

If the DSCR is 0.95, only 95% of the annual debt payments are covered by rental income. This suggests that you would have to pay the bills each month with money of your own. Although negative cash flow is undesirable to lenders, they may nevertheless approve if you have substantial assets and other sources of income in addition to your regular income.

Applying for a DSCR loan might be a smart idea if you’re thinking about purchasing a home to rent out or profit from. If you intend to use your property for income-generating purposes, such as renting it out through Airbnb, these loans are ideal. Particularly if you don’t have a regular job, they can be beneficial.

Certain kinds of property are eligible for loan use, including:

  • A single-family residence (SFR), as well as other types of properties such as condos, townhomes, and single-family homes.
  • Multifamily properties (two to ten units) can also be financed with a DSCR loan.

To increase their profits, many real estate investors prefer to use DSCR loans for rental properties. Get in touch with Griffin Funding if you’d like to purchase or construct a property but are unsure if you qualify for a DSCR loan.

How is DSCR Calculated?

The debt service coverage ratio formula, which divides the yearly gross rental income by the debt obligations of the property, establishes the amount of debt the property must pay off.

  • They look at the annual rental income you receive from your property to determine how much money you’re making from it. They contrast this with the earnings of nearby comparable properties. They’ll use the lesser amount, whichever that is. If your property has been rented out for a year or longer, they may be able to use that income rather than compare it to other properties’ earnings.
  • You then need to figure out how much debt you have each year. This covers the entire amount you pay back on your loan each year, including the principal amount borrowed plus interest, taxes, insurance, and any fees associated with your homeowners’ association, if applicable. The total of all these payments, or PITI, is your annual debt.
  • After that, you’ll divide your annual rental income by the total amount of debt you have. The DSCR is calculated by dividing your annual gross rental revenue by your annual debt, which gives you a ratio.

To obtain a mortgage based on your income, it’s critical to understand that things like:

  •  Capitalization Rate (Cap Rate)
  • Net Operating Income (NOI)
  •  Return On Investment (ROI) 
  •  Cash On Cash Return (COCR)

DSCR Formula Calculation

The Debt Service Coverage Ratio (DSCR) is a financial metric that assesses a company’s capacity to pay off debt. To pay off debt, lenders have to determine if a borrower has sufficient cash flow. DSCR is determined in this manner:


Your breakdown is summarized as follows:

The DSCR formula is:

The formula for the DSCR is NOI / TDS.

The components are:

  • NOI is equal to Operating Income – Operating Expenses (not including interest and taxes).
  • Interest Charged + Principal Paid = TDS

The main points are as follows:

  • The definitions of NOI and TDS may vary depending on the situation. Consult pertinent loan documents or financial statements for exact definitions.
  • There is no one-size-fits-all DSCR ratio. A higher ratio indicates a greater ability to repay debt, whereas a lower ratio indicates greater default risk.
  • The DSCR of a business is merely one financial indicator among several.

DSCR Loan Pros And Cons

Commercial real estate is frequently financed with DSCR loans, one type of loan type. Here are some advantages and disadvantages of DSCR loans:


  • Flexibility: The flexibility of DSCR loans is one of their main advantages. Most of the time, these loans are not based on your income. Rather, they focus on the property’s revenue. Investors who derive a significant portion of their income from real estate ownership may find this useful.
  • Every type of rental is eligible: DSCR loans are suitable for both short- and long-term rentals, as well as different kinds of properties, such as single-family homes or multi-family residences. Additionally, if you have an LLC, you can use a DSCR loan to purchase commercial real estate for your company’s needs.
  • No Property Limit: You can frequently finance as many properties as you want with DSCR loans. DSCR loans don’t have any restrictions on the number of properties you can finance, in contrast to other conventional loans. They are therefore a wise option for those looking to expand their portfolio of real estate.
  • Quicker Closing Times: Typically, when you apply for a loan, your employment history and pay stubs are examined. They don’t do that, though, with DSCR loans. When compared to standard commercial loans, this expedites the process. With this, a legitimate money lender can assist you.
  • Streamlined approval process: DSCR loans typically close faster than other investment loans because they have a straightforward application and approval procedure. The application and approval process is simple and quick because you are not required to provide personal financial information.


  • Minimum DSCR: Some lenders stipulate that investors must meet basic requirements with a service coverage ratio (DSCR) of 1.25 to 1.5. The majority of lenders typically apply this rule very strictly. Progressive lenders such as New Silver provide a DSCR Loan program with no minimum DSCR requirement.
  • Down Payment: The majority of DSCR lenders normally require a down payment. Usually, the down payment is 20% of the rental property’s purchase price, but it can be higher or lower depending on the loan provider you choose.
  • Loan Limits: Because the maximum amount for DSCR loans is normally limited to $2 million to $5 million, less financing may be available than for other loan categories.
  • Stricter Requirements: DSCR loans typically have more stringent requirements due to the way they operate. This implies that to pay off the loan, the property must generate more revenue.
  • Prepayment penalties: If you repay a DSCR loan before the agreed-upon period, typically one to five years, you will be assessed a fee. Accepting this fee could result in a lower interest rate, but ask your loan lender to explain all the fees you may be charged.

Do you find this information useful? On our blog, you can find additional advice and insights about loans.

Requirements for a DSCR loan?

The requirements for a DSCR loan can vary based on the type of property you want to buy and the lenders you choose. The following items, which lenders typically look at when you apply for this kind of loan, can also assist you in weighing the benefits and drawbacks of DSCR loans:

  • Debt Service Coverage Ratio Minimum: The debt service coverage ratio of your property must meet a minimum threshold set by your lender to qualify for a DSCR loan. Generally speaking, they will want the ratio to be at least 1.2 to make sure your property can pay its bills and cover unforeseen expenses.
  •  Rental History: Lenders are interested in learning if the home has a history of being successfully rented out, whether it be for long-term or short-term stays. You should request a copy of the most recent long-term rental lease from the seller or a history of short-term rental income from the property to substantiate this.
  •  Property Appraisal: If you are eligible for a DSCR loan, an appraisal that indicates the rental rates of surrounding properties may be significant, but only in certain situations. If your property has never been rented out before or if the appraiser estimated a lower rent amount, this information is used to calculate your debt service coverage ratio.
  •  Loan-to-Value Ratio (LTV): Additionally, the amount you are borrowing concerning the rental property’s value will be examined by your DSCR lender. This will be accomplished by dividing the loan amount by the estimated value of the property. Usually, they aim for a ratio of at least 75%.
  •  Credit Authorization: Your ability to repay debts on time determines whether or not you are eligible for a DSCR loan, not your income. By examining your credit report, lenders will request to view your credit history. Even though they typically prefer it to be at least 680, some lenders will still approve a loan if your credit score is 620.
  •  Down Payment: A minimum down payment of 20–30% is required to be approved for a DSCR loan.

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