Hi @Jacob Seki ,
It is tough to invest in real estate on a $6k/year salary. With that said, you still have options.
1) Speak with some local banks/credit unions to see how much money you could borrow to purchase a place and what % down payment they require. Here are some Illinois first-time home buyer programs.
2) Build your credit now so that it is as close to perfect as possible.
3) Build your wealth. You can do this 3 ways - decrease spending, increase income, or both.
4) Set goals and stick to them. Goals will help with saving, investing, and keep you focused for what you want to accomplish.
You should never buy properties with your own money or credit. Your only option should be to use creative financing strategies.
Here's what I suggest:
2. Lease options
3. Subject 2 deals
4. Contract for deed
5. Joint ventures
6. Vendor take backs