Hello r/personalfinance. I never post but I constantly think about this so I figured why not.
My girlfriend and I have been thinking a lot about home ownership and I think we want to start the process, but I have student loan debt, and a car payment I still have to take care of. I am 28 years old and I make pretty good money (at least I think). I owe about 10k on the car and about 55k in student loans. I am relatively new to financial literacy so please excuse me if I sound like an utter idiot in how Im describing my thoughts. I have about 15k in liquid cash that would go towards the down payment, I am think 5% conventional loan and I have family that would help assist a little in the down payment if my 15k wont cover it. That would be my entire checking account pretty much. My girlfriend currently does not contribute to expenses because she works part time while she finishes school. We have discussed that she will be paying her half as soon as she has a real job that allows that. She will have her masters in about a month, so Im not too concerned. That would significantly help me pay off debt while we lived in a home. Also, she has no debt. She owns her car and didnt take out student loans (shes a lot smarter than me).
To be clear on the debt before I get questions. I was young, dumb, and naive when I took out the car and student loans. I had no idea what I was getting into at the time. The apps that track those debts (MOHELA for student, and the bank that financed my car loan has been absorbed by Premier bank so I have no idea how to readily pull this up.) are super useless and I DO NOT KNOW my interest rates. I signed a piece of paper because I wanted to go to college and I wanted a car. Not a good excuse, but its the one I have. I realize this is something I need to know ASAP before making any real decisions but keep in mind, Im on r/personalfinance because Im financially stupid, not financially literate. Otherwise, I wouldnt post here.
Income details: I make about 90k a year (pre-tax), and my take home is about 4400/mo. I pay about 2800/mo for my expenses each month (debt, rent, utilities, etc). These are close approximations. Ive got about 40k in my 401k (irrelevant to this discussion probably) and I have an individual account with play money I use for more riskier stock trades. I also am planning on opening a Vanguard or Fidelity Roth IRA here in the next week and adding more money to that for retirement.
I think I rambled there and probably am coming across incoherent. I just want advice because I constantly question if I should debt snowball this stuff and pay off the car and student loans first, or if I should start building equity and get a home. Plus, there is this mental element to all of this that isnt really accounted for in the numbers. I hate renting. I hate living in an apartment. I feel so constrained and cant be myself. Its tiny and Im just sick of it. I have lots of hobbies and I want a garage and a place to work on my projects. It sounds so nice to me to have my own slice of heaven. That isnt really a good reason to make dumb financial decisions, but I kind of think it is to some degree.
Please help Reddit! I am an idiot millenial who cant tell his head from his ass!