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Grants and Loans: How to Fund Your Music Career

Don’t let the lack of finances rob you from being the world’s next musical idol. Discover here loans and music grants to help you fund your music career.

There are under 50,000 professional musicians in the United States. Compare that number to the millions of aspiring musicians that are out there and the reality of making it in the music industry becomes clear…

It’s a difficult path where only a small percentage of people will succeed.

It may come as a surprise that one of the biggest barriers that keep people from being successful as musicians isn’t necessarily talent. It’s time.

After all, it’s hard to get momentum in any industry when you’re worried about making enough money to keep a roof over your head. That’s why many turn to music grants and loans to hold them over.

Below, our team shares a few types of music grants and loans you can choose from.

Student Grants and Loans

As a musician, you may be looking to start off your career by pursuing a music-related degree.

Getting a degree in music can boost your knowledge of the art substantially. It can also expand the number of music opportunities that are available to you and will increase your professional network.

There are three primary types of funding available to music students:

Federal Grants

Federal grants are free money given to students by the federal government to pursue their education.

These types of grants are typically offered to students working on their bachelor’s degree who demonstrate financial need.

State Grants

State grants are similar to federal grants but are issued by the state rather than the federal government.

Again, these types of grants are given on a priority basis to students working on their 4-year degree and who have financial need.

Student Loans

Loans for student musicians are different from music grants in that they need to be paid back plus interest. You can get student loans from both the government and from private lenders.

Government loans tend to have more favorable terms in comparison to what private lenders offer.

Personal Loans

If you’re not looking to go to school as a musician, you won’t qualify for scholastic grants and loans. Therefore, if you’re looking to borrow money, you’ll need to turn to personal loans.

Personal loans can get obtained online at your local bank or at any credit union. They can get awarded in varying amounts and come with different interest rates.

In order to get a personal loan, most lenders will want to see that you have a good credit score. If you don’t have a good credit score or don’t have any credit history at all, your personal loan options will be limited.

Still, there are some lenders that offer no credit check instant approval loans. You’ll need to search for them online and pay close attention to the terms they’re offering.

Credit Cards

Credit cards are similar to personal loans in that they provide borrowers with money they can use up front and then ask that the money gets paid back plus interest in small installments.

Credit cards that have favorable interest rates and high borrowing limits will again, want to see that you have good credit. There are some cards out there that musicians have experienced some success with however that are more lenient when it comes to qualifying.

Private Music Grants

The best way (but also the hardest way) for a musician to get the money they need to float their career until they get traction is through private music grants.

Private music grants get awarded by private organizations to musicians who meet qualifying factors.

To qualify, you may need to write an essay describing your financial need and love for your craft. You may need to send in a video demonstrating your talent. You may get asked to do any number of other things in order to qualify for whatever award the institution in question is looking to give out.

Grants are always preferable to loans since you don’t need to pay them back. Given this charitable component, competition for grants is fierce and qualifying factors can be time-consuming.

There are plenty of musicians that spend days applying for grants and don’t get them. That’s why many people say that, rather than applying for music grants, you may be better off dedicating that time to working part-time.

Grants for musicians can get found through websites like Actor’s Space or via other online institutions you can find by Google searching “grants for musicians”.

Cold Mailing Businesses

At the end of the year, companies look for ways to bring down their tax burden. This gets accomplished, in part, via charitable donations.

Understanding that fact, many musicians send letters to businesses describing their passion and financial need in hopes that they’ll award them “off the books” grants.

Since “off the books” grants aren’t advertised, they have no competition. That means your odds of getting them could be higher when compared to standard grants.

Finding Ways to Fund Your Career with Music Grants and Loans

From applying for music grants to seeking personal loans, there is no shortage of ways that musicians can get the funding they need.

Our final word of caution is to remember that loans cost money. Before you take them on, make sure you understand what you’re getting yourself into.

If you borrow money without reflecting on the process, you could end up in a dire financial situation.

For more information on all things music, entertainment, and more, check out the new content we publish to Vents Magazine every week!

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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