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Author Topic: Loans for instrument purchase  (Read 5128 times)
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abuczek1

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« on: Dec 21, 2011, 10:54AM »

Hi all,

So I'm in a predicament... being desperate for a new horn, I need some sort of loan to make the $6,000 purchase happen. I'm sure there's some others with the same problem. The loan world is big, and somewhat complicated. I have been to several different sites, but don't really want to choose anything in particular. Of course, the ideal choice would be one with a low interest rate, that allows me to spend the money on a horn.

Does anyone have previous experience with using a loan to purchase a horn, and perhaps what lender you went with?
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« Reply #1 on: Dec 21, 2011, 07:43PM »

This is not going to be the answer you want to hear.

I would never go into hock to buy a horn unless I was a professional player who was guaranteed to make back that purchase price in short order using the horn (and the horn was critical to me getting the gigs).  Does that fit you?

What are you using now, and what's wrong with it?

Have you considered a good used horn?
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« Reply #2 on: Dec 21, 2011, 07:47PM »

I bought all my trombones used just for this reason.
If you're a student, you can get a student loan for that sort of thing and write it off as tax free, but I spent much less for my bass, tenor, and other tenor than you might for one horn.
I'll have to buy something better in the future, of course, but hopefully by then I'll have some sort of income. I'm not sure 6000 dollars is a viable amount to loan out for an instrument. I remember some guy on here took out some huge loan and bought a whole set of Shires horns... Anyone else remember that? I wonder how he's doing now.
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« Reply #3 on: Dec 21, 2011, 07:49PM »

I remember some guy on here took out some huge loan and bought a whole set of Shires horns... Anyone else remember that? I wonder how he's doing now.

Why on Earth would you do that unless you are a pro??? Anyway to the OP, try and find something cheaper than 6K. To get my horn I saved every cent I made from playing and all I could from normal work for a year and sold the horn I had at the time. Try that. Just be patient.
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« Reply #4 on: Dec 21, 2011, 08:01PM »

A $6,000.00 horn purchased on credit is not really a wise decision
if your working knowledge of credit is limited in scope.
By this I mean by experience and knowledge.

A limited credit history will put you at a high interest rate;
if you qualify at all for a purchase of this size. Since it is an
instrument the qualifiers for making such a purchase are higher than
for purchasing a car. Both are installment loans which brings me to
the next suggestion

If credit is not an issue and I absolutely could not wait, then
I would probably use revolving debt. I tear up zero percent for 12 month
credit card offers regularly...(hint)

Bottom line best suggestion: save your money until you can pay cash.

Good luck and Merry Christmas! 
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« Reply #5 on: Dec 21, 2011, 08:51PM »

If you aren't in debt you can make that money much quicker than you can pay it off once you are in debt.
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« Reply #6 on: Dec 22, 2011, 01:51AM »

Don't do it...simple as that. A pro would need to justify the expense, and I could not justify $6000 of debt for a trombone. Buy used, look around, get a good deal. I got a really good single valve Holton bass on ebay this summer for $499. A set of after-market valves would make it a great horn for under $2000. You don't always get more when you pay more.

Chris Stearn
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abuczek1

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« Reply #7 on: Dec 22, 2011, 12:09PM »

Thanks for all of the responses! Anyways, the situation is that I am selling my old horn for $2,000, so I'm thinking that it might be possible to get a smaller loan, and just work a heck of a lot this summer. Otherwise, I wouldn't go for it. The reason I'm needing a new horn in the first place is that I'm a college student with an intermediate-level horn, and I would appreciate something more customizable.
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« Reply #8 on: Dec 22, 2011, 12:11PM »

If you can sell your horn for $2K then it is not an intermediate horn.

If you can't afford a $6k horn then you don't need a $6k horn.  There are WAY too many good horns out there to need to go into debt for one.  I've been there and I didn't learn the first time.  Please heed the warnings.
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« Reply #9 on: Dec 22, 2011, 12:14PM »

IF you can work and do it.. then fine whatever to make you happy. But do the work FIRST and then pay for it. Do not just go and take a leap like this. Work your butt off making all the money  you can and see what you get. For 2K you could get a great used tenor. Say 3.5K will get you a GREAT used bass. That is the price point I see used horns going for. And that is in (To quote DJ) minty shape. Get the money first by working and then see what happens.
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« Reply #10 on: Dec 22, 2011, 12:52PM »

I agree with the guys on this thread. I have yet to spend more than $1300 on any of the horns I presently play on, which includes both a completely functional Bach bass and a completely functional Yamaha 4 valve Euph, amongst others.  Of course, I'm really cheap, and would rather buy an old used horn and put a few hundred $$$ into repair.

If you *really* want to go the modular route... you can get a straight (or valved if you can find the right price) Bach 42 and "upgrade" as you get the money.  There's an active thread about how Bach 42/50 slides fit into Shires/Edwards parts around here somewhere. That's what I was planning on doing, then I ended up liking my 42, so I just put a Shires valve on it and that was the end of my "upgrading."
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« Reply #11 on: Dec 22, 2011, 01:23PM »

What is the horn you consider 'intermediate'?
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« Reply #12 on: Dec 24, 2011, 05:38AM »

I don't know what the position is with such an expensive horn - I would never dream of buying one! However, with the first instrument I bought, I was able to rent it over several months with a view to buying later, and with the rental costs being deducted from the final price.
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« Reply #13 on: Dec 24, 2011, 06:17AM »

I don't know what the position is with such an expensive horn - I would never dream of buying one! However, with the first instrument I bought, I was able to rent it over several months with a view to buying later, and with the rental costs being deducted from the final price.

Rent to buy is often used for beginner or student horns.  It's really not a good deal.  Most of the time the rental is deducted from the undiscounted price so you pay more than you would have for an outright purchase; but since most students who give it up do so in the first couple of months, a rental at that period is a good idea.  When the kid decides to stop playing with the toy you are only out a couple of months' rent.

Woodwind and Brasswind used to offer a 3 payment plan, which was only slightly better than an outright purchase because the payments were fairly close together.

I don't know that you can buy a top line horn on a "rent to buy" or extended payments plan.  Shires, Edwards, Greenhoe, Rath - please tell me if I am wrong.
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« Reply #14 on: Dec 24, 2011, 06:22AM »

   Your post question is a oddity here.  Usually when a developing/younger player is looking for a new horn they provide very specific details about the reasons why and question at length every piece of the instrument ( slides, plating, bells, etc...).  Your posts provide almost no insight into your situation seeming purposely vague beyond your conviction to blow 6K.  Has somebody told you this is what you NEED?  I don't know how many times we reiterate on this forum that practice will do for you what no horn can.  
   Please, consider the advice of all these fine players.  Give it a decade and a dozen horns to see how you tastes/needs can change before such a financial commitment.  
  
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abuczek1

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« Reply #15 on: Dec 25, 2011, 08:18AM »

I don't know that you can buy a top line horn on a "rent to buy" or extended payments plan.  Shires, Edwards, Greenhoe, Rath - please tell me if I am wrong.

Yeah, the thing that stinks is that you can only obtain a payment plan from a dealer. With all of the money and effort involved with all of that, I'm probably just going to go for a used horn, which was on the radar in the first place.
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« Reply #16 on: Dec 25, 2011, 09:06AM »

I don't know that you can buy a top line horn on a "rent to buy" or extended payments plan.  Shires, Edwards, Greenhoe, Rath - please tell me if I am wrong.

You are correct, at least for Shires. The company is too small to be able to finance without an outside agency. I think Steve looked into it at one point and determined that the only terms available were more expensive for everybody involved than even a fairly high rate credit card, which is pretty easy to get after all.

I'm not sure why there is such a unanimous condemnation of taking out a loan to buy a quality instrument. He's a college music student as far as I can tell. If he's serious about what he's doing, then a quality instrument is a necessity, just as a car is a necessity for many of us. We regularly finance cars because we need them for work, or even the potential of work; why not an instrument for an aspiring professional musician?

Furthermore, one of the ways we build up a credit rating (which we need later on for such things as financing a car or a house) is to get a credit card, make a purchase, and pay it off in regular payments. abuczek1, if you have even a small source of income from which you can make regular credit card payments, I don't see a huge downside. Don't use the card for day-to-day expenses or to buy a playstation; just buy the instrument you need and pay it off as soon as you can. It will ultimately cost more than paying cash, but I think you know that.

Now, if the situation is not what it seems - you have an instrument now that isn't holding you back (which you should ask your teacher about if you haven't already) but you just want a shiny new one that you think will be better - then by all means, start a savings account and put the money away until you can afford the horn of your dreams.

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« Reply #17 on: Dec 25, 2011, 09:22AM »

hi All,

In 1992 I financed a Bach bass trombone through Yamaha America which offered loans for musical instrument purchases.  I am not certain they still do that.  How times have changed.  The Bach came in broken missing options on it so I ordered an Edwards bass which was 2400 without the case, I think the case was 300.00 and we had it paid off in a year and a half.

Inflation and the rising cost of materials and health care have taken their toll on instrument manufacture.  You think American Boutique manufacturers are expensive, try German horns or Haags.  10K plus??

You can get a credit card or even a flat out bank loan if you are savvy enough.

Good luck,

Benn 
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« Reply #18 on: Dec 25, 2011, 09:32AM »

If he's a college student, he can get a loan through a credit union providing he has an account.  The rates are pretty good right now.  I took out a loan for some recording equipment recently and my rate is under 3%.  On top of that, the checking account at the Credit Union pays me 3% interest.  The checking account... pays more than the savings account at the BOA.   If you are a student or a teacher or a govt worker and you don't have a credit union account, you're LOSING MONEY!.  I ditched bank of america and i'm glad i did.  On a musician's wages, i don't think i could survive otherwise.

If he's serious, nothing wrong with getting a good horn.  It's not good to go into debt over anything: that house we all thought was an asset?  It's not.  That said, it's a legitimate business expense, and will probably pay more in the long run than anything else.  From a financial perspective, it makes more sense than taking out a loan for a car.

When I moved back home 3 years ago, I blew over 6K on the two horns I do most of my playing on (thanks Shires!), plus another 2K on a keyboard, and a bunch more on some other stuff.  It's all paid for itself.  Is the 4K shires better than the 88H i did most of my playing on in the 90's?  Absolutely.  I loved that horn and wish I'd never sold it, but the Shires is better.  Is it that much better?  Yes.

Anything that makes my job easier is definitely worth the bread.  

If the OP is dead set on spending that kind of money, I would suggest he needs to fly to one of the custom makers and spend a few days trying out stuff.  If you can afford 6K for a horn, you can spring for a flight to Hopedale.

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