The ability to pay is a self-explanatory term used in Real Estate to determine if the Home Buyer has the financial health to honor a deal.
Mortgage Lenders can't afford to lend out money to whoever they like; they need to know if the borrower is able to pay the loan back. There are several calculations done to assert a home buyer's (or a borrower's) ability to pay, and the debt-to-income ratio calculation and the credit score evaluation are the most famous ones.
In many ways, it was the lack of attention to this economic principle on the Lender's part that led the country and, especially, the business into the "Great Recession" of 2008. Both lenders and borrowers didn't care about the ability to pay and suddenly no one was paying for the loans anymore. Lots of foreclosed homes and the rest is History... and we hope it stays like this: History!
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