How To Get A Loan For Musical Instruments Or A Studio, And Should You?

Decent quality instruments don’t come cheap, and if your ambition is actually to be come a sound engineer, studio gear and the studio space itself is certainly going to cost you. Sadly, if you’re in the early stages of your career in the music industry it’s likely that the money isn’t exactly flowing in yet. It might be very tempting to take out a loan to buy the things you need. It’s not something to do lightly however:

Should you get a loan to develop your music career?

For the most part, experienced heads in the music industry, people like Henry Parsley, a co-founder of ‘The Infinite Us’ music agency, advise extreme caution about borrowing money for instruments or studio equipment. Here’s a few points to consider:

  • If you’re counting on your improved equipment to improve your music-derived income potential you may be guilty of being overly optimistic
  • Do you need it or just want it? There’s always more kit out there. Saving up and buying what you really need as you need it is a better option
  • It’s always worth checking out second-hand more affordable stuff before investing in new
  • If you can crowd-fund, or persuade your family or friends to sponsor you that’s a better bet than borrowing money at high-interest rates

When is it OK to get a loan to support your music?

There are times when it makes sense to invest in yourself. These include:
When you have lots of gigs booked – If you’re at that stage and really do need a new guitar, and know you can afford to pay it off from your earnings then by all means borrow money.
You need to upgrade your studio to cater for the people who’re lining up to record with you – Just so long as you’re sure they’ll pay their recording fees that is.
In many ways, these are two variants of the same thing – It’s OK to borrow to pay for developing a career you have, but not wise to pump cash you’ll have to pay back on one that isn’t actually happening yet!

Where to get your loan

A bank – Most banks are wary about leading money to musicians with an unproven income potential, It’s just such an uncertain and and times unfair business. You may be able to get a personal loan based on your ‘day job’. if you have a good credit history.
A credit card – Companies are judging you purely on your ability to repay and won’t much care what you’re spending your money on. Interest rates tend to be high though.
Through the shop you’re buying from – They may have special arrangements with finance companies. And they may not, but until you ask you won’t know!
Patrons, music investors – There’s a long history of ‘patronage’ in the arts. And the internet has opened out a world of opportunities that bear exploring. In some cases you may be able to find low interest rates, you might even get lucky with a grant!