First question is: Should I be more concerned about paying down debt than putting more money in the bank? (We are both 50 years old.)
Second question is: By the time I buy the home and I have leftover debt, can the debt be incorporated in the mortgage? What can I do with the debt?
You need to get rid of the debt as soon as possible — there is no good debt. When you have debt hanging around, you invite Murphy to move in (if anything can go wrong it will) and he has a tendency to bring his cousins Broke, Desperate and Stupid. You certainly don’t want to move this crew to a new home. Just get crazy and knock out the debt. If your money wasn’t going to Chase and your school loans, you’d be able to save for the house a lot faster.