How to use initial capital to get into the industry

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I'm looking to get into REI, but am torn between putting my current capital into an initial investment and paying down student loan debt. Also If I try to tackle both simultaneously, what is 1.) a promising capital amount to begin with & 2.) the most ideal system to use for beginners? I know you can make little to no capital work, but I'm trying to conduct a risk analysis with my current state of affairs.

Hey @Jeremy Tice .  Tricky question but I think it comes down to your comfort level with debt.  I personally am not opposed to debt so I would choose to start investing ASAP.  I would recommend getting in touch with a mortgage lender and getting their thoughts on your particular situation.  They might tell you that you can afford $XXX without paying down more debt or they might tell you it is smarter to pay off your credit card, car loan, etc.  

As far as your capital goal goes, it depends on your goal.  If you are going to house hack, that is a different dollar amount than if you are going to be putting 20% down.  Based on your situation and your goals, your mortgage lender can help you with that as well.