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Purchasing a Horn with a Student Loan

Postby thegreatrodinkis » Fri Sep 01, 2017 1:10 pm

Hello! I’m trying to purchase a horn now, and I’m curious if anyone has experience with this. I’m aware that horns can intact be purchased with a student loan, so what I’m wondering is what the best loan companies are for this and if there’s anything you would recommend steering away from. I’m sure you all know tubas are rather expensive.
Thanks!
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Re: Purchasing a Horn with a Student Loan

Postby tubacorbin » Fri Sep 01, 2017 1:23 pm

I wish I had listened to those who told me not to. It's not worth it IMO.
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Re: Purchasing a Horn with a Student Loan

Postby TheGoyWonder » Fri Sep 01, 2017 2:12 pm

you already have a kinda upscale tuba and a prescription mouthpiece. plus whatever the school has.
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Re: Purchasing a Horn with a Student Loan

Postby Casca Grossa » Fri Sep 01, 2017 2:19 pm

TheGoyWonder wrote:you already have a kinda upscale tuba and a prescription mouthpiece. plus whatever the school has.


What he said. You have a great all around horn that can do just about anything. I wouldn't add to an already expensive degree to buy a horn. I'd save my money and buy later. If you can't afford a new one now, I'd wait.
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Re: Purchasing a Horn with a Student Loan

Postby The Big Ben » Fri Sep 01, 2017 2:35 pm

People who loan money want to loan you as much money as your credit will allow. Student loans are a little different because they are willing to loan huge amounts of money to people who have *no credit*. They are counting on the fact that you are getting a college degree and should be making buttloads of money to pay them back. Whether you are making any money or not. The more money they loan you, the more money they make because you will have to pay interest to them. They are counting on you not being savvy to the fact that all that money needs to be paid back (and must come out of your budget *before* you eat) because you have never had a loan before. When you are standing there and there is a huge pile of money that can be yours and they are handing you a pen to sign on the line, say to yourself, over and over again, "Loans must be paid back, loans must be paid back, loans must be paid back".

Your Piggy and fancy mouthpiece should be fine until you can pay for something with cash. If not forever.
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Re: Purchasing a Horn with a Student Loan

Postby brattom » Fri Sep 01, 2017 3:28 pm

thegreatrodinkis wrote:Hello! I’m trying to purchase a horn now, and I’m curious if anyone has experience with this. I’m aware that horns can intact be purchased with a student loan, so what I’m wondering is what the best loan companies are for this and if there’s anything you would recommend steering away from. I’m sure you all know tubas are rather expensive.
Thanks!


I can't comment on what your loan options are, but I bought two tubas in grad school with student loans, but that was almost 20 years ago. I was also fortunate that the Army paid off my loans when I joined. I don't know your personal situation, but I'd think you would be much better off buying something tangible (ie can be sold if needed) with a student loan, assuming the terms are reasonable.

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Re: Purchasing a Horn with a Student Loan

Postby bloke » Fri Sep 01, 2017 5:46 pm

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Re: Purchasing a Horn with a Student Loan

Postby bort » Fri Sep 01, 2017 7:51 pm

Probably not the best idea, but also depends on the tuba. No tuba is really an investment, but some will certainly lose you less money than others.
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Re: Purchasing a Horn with a Student Loan

Postby Ace » Fri Sep 01, 2017 8:14 pm

You already have a great tuba which will serve you well in any situation. Please don't go into debt to buy a tuba. Also, please read and re-read all the posts above, particularly Ben's.

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Re: Purchasing a Horn with a Student Loan

Postby Stryk » Sat Sep 02, 2017 7:51 am

My initial reaction was to say that it is a good option if you have to go into debt for a horn. Then I saw the instrument you already have. You have a great instrument that does not get the respect it deserves. I have some nice horns including Mirafone and Alexander - the one I used the most is an Amati (Cerveney). It is good enough to get you anywhere you want to go IMO.
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Re: Purchasing a Horn with a Student Loan

Postby the elephant » Sat Sep 02, 2017 9:24 am

Purchasing an instrument with a student loan is a bad idea.
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Re: Purchasing a Horn with a Student Loan

Postby bloke » Sat Sep 02, 2017 9:50 am

My son-in-law is getting close to paying of his student loans, and he's in his late 30's...so roughly twenty years...

Google is hinting that student loan rates are hovering around 7%.

If a $15,000 tuba is purchased (wouldn't quite cover the cost of one of mine, but whatever), here's an amortization schedule of $15,000 (price of the tuba) with 20 years of monthly payments at 7%. (I am quite ignorant about these loans, and also ignorant as to whether there are any loan origination fees.)

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"Over a hundred bucks a month" can seriously cut into a young person's budget...particularly with a wife/kids/car payment(s)/car repairs/mortgage/utility bill/taxes/leaky roof/medical insurance/kids' school costs/etc./etc.

In the distant past, "mortgages" worked out fairly well for Americans, because inflation caused the monthly payment to be less and less significant over time, but - over the last decade - we've learned that Americans' wages are not automatically increased just because there is inflation. As technology tends to replace or eliminate jobs...and as government (all government...Please do not accuse me of being "political") tends to make epically poor decisions that effect the economy adversely, the demand for labor tends to decrease, and thus wages tend to not increase.
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Re: Purchasing a Horn with a Student Loan

Postby Uncle Markie » Sat Sep 02, 2017 11:10 am

Number One Rule of the Music Business - SAVE YOUR MONEY. You have perfectly good tuba already; hit the books and go home and practice. For what's worth I paid my way through NYU playing in a banjo band on a $60 sousaphone and came out debt free. SAVE YOUR MONEY - YOU'LL NEED IT FOR OTHER THINGS.
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Re: Purchasing a Horn with a Student Loan

Postby bloke » Sat Sep 02, 2017 2:07 pm

This site has changed over the years.
Long ago, when I warned against student loans here (mostly for buying instruments...but also just "in general"), I was vilified by most.
Has academia evacuated, or is it something else?
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Re: Purchasing a Horn with a Student Loan

Postby John DiCesare » Sat Sep 02, 2017 4:13 pm

I don't regret taking a small loan to upgrade my instrument for one second.
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Re: Purchasing a Horn with a Student Loan

Postby DominicTuba » Sat Sep 02, 2017 4:59 pm

Before I got my Wisemann, I was considering taking out a loan for an instrument upgrade. Fortunately, with a very generous gift from a family member, plus working a couple of summer jobs, I was able to purchase the horn, and a Cronkhite gig bag.
In my situation, had I had to take out a loan in order to get an upgrade, I probably would have, as a last resort. My M&M Bb was really starting to drive me crazy by the end of my 2nd year of college.
In your situation, I guarantee that your Cerveny is leaps and bounds better than my M&M.
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Re: Purchasing a Horn with a Student Loan

Postby russiantuba » Sat Sep 02, 2017 11:21 pm

I grew up in a poor household. When I was looking at getting my first tuba, my only option was loans, and there were no viable clones available at the time. I am glad I did that with my CC, but may have bought a clone if available. To get my first F tuba, I worked 2 jobs one summer, clocking 60-70 hours on the clock a week. I didn't get to play my CC much, but it was nice being able to have an F tuba.

From the other side of the picture, I do suggest it depending on the situation. In many instances, students and parents don't have $2000 to put down for a MACK brass tuba, so they may put it on a credit card. With subsidized student loans, I believe you still don't accrue interest while in school. You could make payments of $50 a month and be fine when you leave school and it would be paid off. There are plenty of campus jobs where you can sit at a dorm room desk or office and do homework and get paid to be there, which could cover this expense.

It would also help to know if you are a music major or not. If a minor or someone who does ensembles only, I would suggest using what the school has. If you are a major, what is the horn situation? Is it a smaller program where most students buy a tuba within the first two years and the school horns are a Rudy 4/4 CC and a Hirsbrunner CC (no joke!). Or does the school make several students share the same horn, where buying one would be a better choice.

Just remember, a professor can suggest a horn, they can't make you buy a certain model or brand they represent. You should work together in a partnership to find a horn that fits your playing and monetary needs.
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Re: Purchasing a Horn with a Student Loan

Postby royjohn » Sun Sep 03, 2017 1:22 am

It seems the consensus is that the OP should stick with his Piggy for now and buy another horn later, if at all. Let me add something here. It seems the biggest problem is that the OP, as far as we know, hasn't made any financial plan for whatever loans he's going to need, either for tuba or tuition or expenses or whatever. If a prudent plan indicates that money to pay off the loan will be available, then buying a tuba might make sense, if the prof. indicates it's a good idea. If such a plan says there isn't money in the budget for a horn, it would be time to caucus with the prof. and explain the situation and see how the student could get through school without incurring a loan to purchase a tuba.

The above said, a Mack Brass (or similar) CC tuba runs about $2K, which is a far cry from a Miraphone CC, which, new, would run about $11K. And there is also the possibility of used...if you're going to have to incur $30K of loans to get through school and have an idea that you can work as a music teacher after school if you don't win the NY Phil audition, then adding another $2K for a horn might not be a deal breaker. But adding another $12K might be, esp. if you don't have job prospects following school and might be looking at tuition and/or expenses for a Masters Degree...

So I think it all depends on the plan. Young people need to think about how student loan debt could preclude buying a house, getting married or having children when the time rolls around for those events in your life.
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Re: Purchasing a Horn with a Student Loan

Postby The Big Ben » Sun Sep 03, 2017 1:33 am

russiantuba wrote:From the other side of the picture, I do suggest it depending on the situation. In many instances, students and parents don't have $2000 to put down for a MACK brass tuba, so they may put it on a credit card. With subsidized student loans, I believe you still don't accrue interest while in school. You could make payments of $50 a month and be fine when you leave school and it would be paid off. There are plenty of campus jobs where you can sit at a dorm room desk or office and do homework and get paid to be there, which could cover this expense.


He has a paid for Piggy and a custom mouthpiece. He wants to get something else on a student loan. Lots of people here are saying it is not a good idea and the Piggy should do just fine in just about every situation it is played.

I agree. There are lots of on campus jobs. I always had one or two of them If you like sports, get hooked up with the ushering or general labor crew for the sports games. You will work before every home game, work a little bit at the beginning of the game and then can kind of watch the game while doing little things that come up. Then, at the end of the game, you work your *** off again for two or three hours. Football games have long days. I had three different jobs on game day at U of Washington. I worked in parking, I organized the selling of the programs, sold seat cushions and was on the crew that cleaned the stadium on Sunday. Not all at the same time. The programs were on Thursday and Friday and snooze else actually took care of getting them sold. I parked cars until the lot was full and, when it was full, I sold seat cushions which was fun. They had advertising on them so cost us nothing and any money from sales came right back without overhead. I could sell them for what ever price I wanted. They were $2 foe one, 2 for $3, 3 for $5, 4 for $6. I sold more than one group of people four seat cushions when the only came in for one. What did I care? It was all profit and I wanted to get them all sold so I wouldn't have to do it any more. And, of course, on Sunday, I supervised all of the winos the Dept. hired to pick up the junk in the Stadium. They would get really excited when they found a half eaten apple and fight over who got to eat it. Other times of the week, I worked two or three hours a day in one or more of the University Maintenance Shops. This was either sweeping the floor or driving around with one of journeymen to examine jobs on campus and not do much of anything else. Campus jobs are for more than putting a little folding in your. pocket. Campus jobs can raise your spirit. I got to meet lots of people who were stupider than me and didn't know how to make change, give directions to people and couldn't handle pissed off people who are yelling at them. I felt better than myself thinking that if THESE were the people I was going to have to compete with after graduation, I'm looking' good. (All the jobs were filled with students before outside people.)
Last edited by The Big Ben on Sun Sep 03, 2017 1:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Purchasing a Horn with a Student Loan

Postby bort » Sun Sep 03, 2017 4:36 am

Cheaper to use a student loan than to use a credit card!

These are opportunity costs, and if your current situation is limiting your opportunity, then it is time to change. I would suggest trading in that Cerveny and buying something used at one of our favorite stores like BBC, Dillon Music, Horn Guys, etc. Don't spend too much or go overboard, but make it worth the effort to do this.

If the Cerveny is not limiting your opportunity and it is a matter of personal preference, I would say to wait until next summer. Stick it out this year, sell your piggy here in the summer, and work a few jobs between now and then. I'm sure you will easily make more than $6k by next August, and will have a healthy budget and a lot of options to choose from.
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