Getting approved for a home loan is scary if you don’t know how much home you can afford. Ilyce Glink explains in today’s Real Estate Minute.

Getting a home loan doesn’t have to be scary. You just have to know your limits when it comes to taking on debt.

The housing bubble and great recession have made home buyers much more cautious about getting in over their heads and they’re spending less than they used to.

Mortgage lenders recommend spending between 28 and 36 percent of your gross monthly income on debt payments. Ideally, you won’t spend more than 36 percent on your mortgage, real estate taxes, insurance, and other debt, like a car loan and credit card payments.

Don’t spend more than will let you sleep at night, so plan to spend only around 25 percent of your gross income on housing expenses.

To calculate how big of a loan payment you can carry, try out our Maximum Monthly Payment tool. Let’s help rebuild America, one house at a time.