Should I pay debt with my IRA? or should I invest the IRA?

2 Replies

Hello ALl! first post here... My name is Adriana Vergara, I´m 35, single, no kids. Journalist background (worked in CNN for 8 years) I Now I have a soccer school in Atlanta GA, and also I became an apprentice in real state thanks to COVID and my boyfriend.

I´m trying to Straiten the boat here, to be able to start buying real estate...


- I´m $34,373 in debt on credit cards. (I know.. it just happened and now it's time to make things right).
- At the same time, I have an IRA with a $68,806 net worth.

I have spent the past year helping and learning with my boyfriend who´s a realtor and who 4 years ago started doing flips. I have spent the past months reading, learning, listening to podcasts, youtube channels. etc.. and definitely I know I want to do this, I want to start with something, so one day I can talk about my own rental portfolio.

I have never bought a house before, so I still have that option to buy with a 3 or 3.5% down, but of course, my DTI is just too high...

So... the question is... Should I withdraw part of the IRA to:

  • A- Pay the total of your debt!
  • B- Pay part of the debt (at least leave it in 30%) and use the rest for a downpayment
  • C- Don´t use your IRA money to pay the debt! just find the way to use someone else's credit (I have that option as well) you put the down and go 50-50 with that person on the property
  • D- YOU have no idea what are you talking about, TRY TO DO THIS INSTEAD (please give me some suggestions!!!)

Here´s the breakdown of my cards:

  • AMEX - $19,135 (I have an installment plan, at 7.99% APR, they won't close my account when I pay off the card) (credit line 22K)
  • VISA WellsFargo - $6,865 at 21.99% APR (credit line $7,350)
  • DISCOVER - $3.369 at 11.99% APR (credit line 7k)
  • CHASE Freedom - $5,003 at 22.99% APR (credit line $5,500)

I have no more savings.

About my income: I pay myself around 3K a month and I get a 20% commission on every transaction when helping my boyfriend representing sellers and buyers.

I'm so compromised with this, that I just sold my car (I had a loan for 19k and got 20.5K for it) I know I can deal without a car right now and I want to lower down my monthly expenses to see where else I can put my money.

So... is it a good idea to use the IRA money to pay debt? or how else can I use it?

PS. I already know about the 10% taxes that I'll get charged if I decide to withdraw from the IRA, I know that I will pay a penalty (not in the first 10K if I use them in a first house). But hey... I'm just trying to find a way to start from 0 or to at least do something.

Thanks all for reading all this way!! In advance, I appreciate all the comments and suggestions.

Best regards.

You are on the right track to recognize the debt is a major factor, specifically CC debt. I’m no expert but me personally I would get my finances in order. CC debt is nasty and the rates they charge can be brutal. I would try and consolidate those CC loans the best you can or also look at opening a separate account that has a 0% transfer rate for 12-18 months, transfer the debt and pay it off ASAP. Once you clean that up you can focus on buying investment properties and on your way to financial freedom! 

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