Struggling Artists Don’t Have to Struggle With Student Loans, says Ameritech Financial
To pursue a career as an artist is often to pursue a passion. However, that pursuit can be an expensive one. While a 2011 study by the National Endowment of the Arts found that working artists have higher salaries and education credentials than the labor force in general, they had lower salaries than those of other degreed professionals. In the past 10 years alone, thousands of artists and writers have received Masters of Fine Arts in their chosen disciplines. Those degrees often come with a hefty price tag. However, artists and writers who may be struggling with inadequate salaries and student debt should know that their debt can be manageable. Ameritech Financial, a document preparation company that helps borrowers apply for federal repayment plans, can help artists with federal student loans deal with their debt by assisting them in applying for programs that are intended to reduce monthly payments to a manageable sum.
“We understand that people want to do what they love, but that may also come with debt,” said Tom Knickerbocker, Executive Vice President at Ameritech Financial. “But even a so-called ‘starving artist’ can get a handle on their federal loans, and we’re here to help them do that.”
While working artists in general—defined as artists whose primary job is their art—were earning a median salary of about $43,200 in 2009, according to the NEA study, they were less well-paid than their professional counterparts, who were making a median salary of about $53,600. However, more specifically, “fine artists, art directors, and animators” made far less than that, with $33,982 per year, and actors even less with $30,254. Writers fared better with a median of $44,792 per year.
In the years since the study, thousands have completed Masters of Fine Arts degrees. The reasons for pursuing such a degree do not need to have a monetary nature. Some may obtain an MFA purely to hone their skills in their particular discipline. Others may only want to teach in the arena of their art form, for which an MFA is a necessary credential. Whichever the reason, the MFA very well could have put these dedicated artists in debt.
Both visual and writing MFAs usually cost tens of thousands of dollars—often between $30,000 and $50,000, though the price could go higher. Borrowers of these amounts may have undergraduate debt as well. Although the numbers look intimidating, they do not need to be. For borrowers of federal loans, repayment plans offered by the Department of Education can help reduce a borrower’s monthly obligation to a reasonable amount based on their income and family size. For some borrowers, this amount can be as low as zero. Ameritech Financial is a private, independent company that helps borrowers choose and apply for these income-driven repayment plans, which may also end in forgiveness after a certain amount of years of repayment and recertifications.
If a borrower enrolls in an IDR, Ameritech Financial stays with the client for the entire life of the loan or loans. Yearly recertification is needed if a borrower wants to stay in the IDR, and Ameritech Financial prepares the recertification paperwork for as long as the borrower needs an IDR.
“We want artists who are struggling with their student loans to realize they have options,” said Knickerbocker. “And at Ameritech Financial we know it’s so much easier to focus on good work—work that you’re proud of—when you’re not worried about paying the bills.”
About Ameritech Financial
Ameritech Financial is a private company located in Rohnert Park, California. Ameritech Financial has already helped thousands of people with financial analysis and student loan document preparation to apply for federal student loan repayment programs offered through the Department of Education.
Ameritech Financial is a member of the Association for Student Loan Relief (AFSLR), and each representative on the phone has received the Certified Student Loan Professional certification through the International Association of Professional Debt Arbitrators (IAPDA).
Ameritech Financial prides itself on its exceptional Customer Service.
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