When the sales manager checked my credit score his eyes lit up, but only for a moment. He could see that I easily qualified from that angle, but there was one more consideration, a new wrinkle in lending. It’s called the “debt-to-income ratio” (OK, maybe it’s not so new, but lots of lenders have been ignoring it for a long time). Aside from your having a good rating they now want to make sure that taking on the burden of additional debt isn’t going to bury people. So now lenders want to know about your credit-card debt and your mortgage payment if you own a home or how much your rent is if you don’t. They want to know about education loans, other vehicle loans and any other encumbrances. Of course, they also want to know your present income and sometimes that of others in the household.