The general rule of thumb is that your monthly debt to income ratio be 43% or less of your gross income. This includes all housing related expenses, plus credit card debt, auto loans, students loans, alimony/maintenance, and other trade lines. Re your credit card balances, the minimum payment amounts will be used in the calculation.
This may be a helpful calculator... you plug in all factors, including loan amount, interest rate, monthly expenses (there's a line item for each), etc. and it will tell you the income you need for that loan amount:
Your credit score is critical. And assets will be closely reviewed. You'll show two months bank statements, all pages. If there are lots of overdraft fees, that's a red flag.
Get a pre-approval as soon as you can. You should not be charged for this. If you are asked to pay an app fee, call a different lender.
Jennifer Zuithoff, Mortgage Loan officer, Avenue Mortgage, Naperville