Debt Service Coverage Ratio (DSCR) is calculated by dividing the mortgage payments by the net operating income. This number is used by banks when deciding whether or not to lend on a property. A DSCR of 1.0 means the net operating income is exactly enough to cover the mortgage payments. Banks generally like to see a DSCR of 1.1 or higher. Some lenders like it to be as high as 1.25.

To increase the DSCR, you could increase the net operating income of the investment. This can be done by increasing the gross rental income or decreasing the operating expenses. A decrease in the interest rate on the mortgage loan will also improve your DSCR.

Let’s use the example from last week. The Net Operating Income (NOI) was $69,000. The mortgage loan payment on the property was $60,000. Thus, the Debt Service Coverage Ratio (DSCR) is 1.15 (69,000 / 60,000). A small decrease in the utilities expenses of only $3,000 would actually increase the DSCR to 1.20 (72,000 / 60,000).