"A high debt-to-income ratio is caused by one of two things: either the income issue or the debt issue," Mr. Harshman said. "To fix it, you either have to reduce your debt or find a way to increase your income. In the case of someone who is self-employed, it may be a matter of waiting until they file their 2011 taxes because we average the income from two years of tax returns."
"An employment gap may not be as much of a problem as long as the debt-to-income ratio and credit scores meet the guidelines," Mr. Harshman said. "As long as someone has been back at work for six months and has the probability of continued employment, a period without a job should not be a problem."