$Dental School Debt vs. house hacking

2 Replies

Hi Bigger Pockets Family,

Looking for advice here! All comments are welcome and thank you in advance. My fiancé recently finished her residency and is working full time as a dentist. We both make pretty good salaries and combined bring in before taxes around 185,000. On the flipside we have massive debt. Mine is around 50, while hers is around $400,000 due to out of state dental school. Crazy, I know. We have been interested in slowing building our real estate portfolio through educating, networking, and of course action! We are planning on a house hack to begin as this may help us cut costs as we are currently renting. Any advice on if this amount of student loan debt would be too much to invest? We are in our mid twenties, and have heard several about people investing with tons of debt, and vice versa. However I wanted to see if anyone could shed personal experience, or advice in general? Thank you! 

Side note: We live very frugally plan on paying the debt back within 5-6 years maximum! We budget every month and know our goals for this, thats why although the number will and would alarm most, based off our ages, incomes, and potential to grow we are excited rather than deterred. 


Ouch!  I've never heard of that much student debt.  

From my perspective, you should ask yourself "How do I maximize my long-term wealth?"    I'm talking about the difference between paying down debt vs investing.   If you get good at real estate investing you should be able to easily make double digit cash on cash returns.  (I'm not counting appreciation, which would be icing on the cake, but is unreliable.)  Compare your expected cash on cash returns to the interest rate on your student loans.

It may make sense for you to pay down student debt more slowly and buy real estate that gives higher returns.

@Wyatt Polk


Sounds like you have a pretty aggressive plan to get the debt paid off as soon as possible & you already see the prosperity beyond the debt. That is incredible!

You already have a “mortgage payment” of student loan debts. Given that that may take 5-6 years to pay down, you may want to reduce your living expenses by house hacking & getting used to land-lording. Maybe discipline yourself to live in your unit “as-is” as much as possible until you pay off the student debt.

There is something to be said about getting student debt out of your life & the freedom that affords. Once they’re paid off- you’ll have so much cash-flow to invest each year, you can just take-off.

Do you qualify for a mortgage with your current debt-to-income ratio? Maybe you’re planning to seek owner financing.

Best wishes in your journey!