DSCR: Debt Service Coverage Ratio in Relation to HUD 223(f) Loans

Debt Service Coverage Ratio and HUD 223(f) Financing 

Debt Service Coverage Ratio, or DSCR, is one of the most important metrics that lenders examine when determining whether to give a HUD 223f loan to a potential borrower. DSCR is designed to compare a property's annual cash flow and its annual debt service in order to assess the likelihood that a borrower will pay his or her debts on time, and avoid a mortgage default. 

How to Calculate Debt Service Coverage Ratio 

Debt Service Coverage Ratio can be calculated using the formula provided below: 

DSCR = Net Operating Income / Annual Debt Service

For example, if a property had a net operating income (NOI) of $1 million, and an annual debt service of $850,000, the DSCR would be: 

$1 million / $850,000 = 1.17x

DSCR Requirements for HUD 223(f) Loans 

HUD 223(f) loans have a minimum 1.18x DSCR requirement for market-rate properties. In the example above, the property would qualify (albeit narrowly) for a HUD 223(f) loan, at least in terms of DSCR. If the property was an affordable property (1.15x min. DSCR), or a rental assisted property (1.11x min. DSCR), it would have a little more leeway.

It's important to appreciate that a 1.0x DSCR simply means that an investor/developer is breaking even. That's why lenders like to see a certain margin of safety to ensure that unexpected events (i.e. higher than usual vacancy, natural disasters) are less likely to prevent a borrower from paying their mortgage.

In many cases, multifamily lenders may be more flexible with DSCR requirements if a property's loan-to-value ratio (LTV) is lower. However, since the HUD 223f loan is government-insured, the DSCR still cannot go below the minimum amount for that property type. 


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