Ignite FB Tracking PixelWhat You Need To Know About Buying A Home As A Millennial With Student Debt - Cary Garcia

What You Need To Know About Buying A Home As A Millennial With Student Debt

by Cary Garcia 12/03/2018

Are you a millennial under the presumption that because you carry student loan debt you aren’t eligible for home financing?

If you are, you aren’t alone. According to a 2017 survey from the National Association of Realtors 80% of millennials don’t own a home. And a whopping 83 percent of those who don’t own a home say that student loan debt is holding them back.

However, you might have a better chance at homeownership than you think.

Lenders look at your monthly debt commitments when forming a decision to offer to finance. Debt commitments are things like car loans, student loans, credit card balances and mortgages.

As you can see student loans are just one small piece of the puzzle that makes up your eligibility.

What this means for millennials carrying student loan debt who want own a home is that they simply need to get laser-focused on their financial priorities. Steep credit card debt and expensive car loans that fund a lifestyle chasing the newest, shiniest things will work against your home ownership goals.

With student loans, you don’t have to pass up homeownership but you do have to be willing to compromise on the other debts you carry. You also may not be able to aggressively pay down your student loans while also making a mortgage payment each month. This is a matter of knowing your budget, your values, and your financial goal timeline.

If you have other debts start by paying them down. Take care of your most expensive debts now before applying for a mortgage approval to increase your eligibility. Lower monthly payments by consolidating your student loans or opting for income-driven repayment options. Refinancing options can give you a lower interest rate and total a 6-figure difference in savings over time.

Doing these things increases your debt to income, or DTI, ratio. Your DTI is a strong factor in financing eligibility. Typically, lenders look for a 28/36 qualifying ratio. This means that 28% of your income is being spent on housing expenses and 36% of your income towards debt, including your future mortgage payment.

When carrying two long-term debts (a mortgage and student loans) you want to make sure you still leave room in your budget for saving. You also want to leave ample room for home maintenance costs and any potential large repairs.

You may also take a temporary lifestyle setback financially while saving up for your down payment. While there are programs that will help you by lowering the required percent down it is always recommended to put as much down as you can. This will lower your month to month payments significantly and make carrying two debts a lighter burden.

About the Author

Cary Garcia

Marymount University - BS Finance

Georgetown University - Master's Real Estate

Associate Broker

Northern Virginia Association of Realtors ® Top Producers Club


Finding a real estate agent is easy. Finding a skilled agent is the hardest…What separates me from other real estate agents is my extensive knowledge of contract law and the market data of the region. You need an agent who understands the legality of the contract by enforcing the terms of the offer as well as all of the contingencies, addendums and disclosures. Before signing the offer, I will thoroughly explain the contract in detail, so you understand what you are committing to.I bring an expert’s perspective to help buyers and sellers make the right decisions. Because I understand the legal and highly emotional aspects associated with real estate transactions, I am able to provide expert guidance to help you make informed and educated decisions. In addition, I’m very skilled at project coordination. With so many people involved in the home sale process, I know how to create satisfying resolutions and make the process go as smoothly and successfully as possible.

My real estate business has the “clients for life” philosophy where I strive to excel in every aspect of my business, continually reinventing myself as I find better ways to achieve my clients’ goals. I’m constantly learning and reviewing my business, systems and processes, and asking myself: How can I improve my level of service to my clients?

My expertise encompasses all housing types, including co-ops, condos, single-family homes and multi-unit buildings. I welcome first time homebuyers, owners wishing to sell their homes, trade up or acquire income-producing properties. In addition, I warmly invite those interested in relocating to Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C. 

With an in-depth view of the market, I know where to locate the properties that compliment your wish list and lifestyle. Moreover, when it’s time to sell, my innovative appraisal approach will help to appropriately price your property for maximum financial return. I focus on marketing that is effective – that is why I relentlessly track what works and what does not.

I recognize the common thread in each and every real estate transaction is a client with similar needs: exceptional customer service, an agent who understands the contract, neighborhood expertise and professional guidance throughout the process. I embrace all of these needs and work diligently to cater to them on every level of my business. I know Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C. areas very well and know what it takes to earn a stellar reputation for giving clients’ what they ultimately want. I take this responsibility seriously and work tirelessly to ensure you receive all the information you need to make sound decisions that will affect your future. So when you’re ready to buy or sell property in Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C., set your sights high and give me a call. 

My expertise, dedication and perseverance will ensure your next move a complete success. I will help you achieve it.


Cary was fantastic in all respects. We will definitely recommend him to others. He went way above and beyond what was necessary in our first home buying experience.

– Barry Kennedy and Amy Kennedy

If it wasn’t for Cary’s hard work, we would not have the house we are now living in. … He was always patient, kind and informative. We knew that he was always on our side and trusted his judgment. He worked so tirelessly for us, without reservation. I highly recommend him to anyone looking for a house in the Washington area.

– Daniel and Christine Mullins

Cary was very professional from the very beginning. He kept us informed throughout the whole entire selling process. Eventually…he helped us buy our next home. We will recommend him highly.

– Dr. Deborah Jones & Dr. Gregory Miller

For the past six years we have had a business relationship with Mr. Cary Garcia. He was our realtor during the purchase and sale of our home. … No detail was too small and nothing was overlooked. … I would recommend Cary Garcia to anyone looking for a hard working and trustworthy professional.

– Marc and Mona Lisa Gittleman