Bichon, while I appreciate your post, I didn’t add a lot of information about my program, school, or possible wages for the simple reason that they are immaterial to my question which was:
I need advice on the best places to go first for either a private loan or reconsolidation of said student loan through direct loans.
I’m asking which financial institution or lender is my best choice for acquiring the aforementioned loan or reconsolidation, available information on this is remarkably slim.
However, since you did ask, my field of study is media arts and animation, I’m working toward a bachelors in animation and will begin actually working in that field once i have my degree( computer animation is a field where a degree means quite allot, most studios won’t even look at my portfolio without one) currently I work a management position on big box retail, I chose this position for a few reasons namely relatively easy wages to earn, multiple locations to work out of/live near for flexibility, training and experience leading and managing a workforce and running a business. These are all skills which I will need for my eventual goal of working up to a director of animation position at a major studio.
Job prospects at the moment are slim on the east coast, especially with the closing and bankruptcy of the Florida based digital domain studio which opened less than a year ago. on the west coast or overseas jobs are much better, most major studios are based in and around California, there is also plenty of work in smaller studios working on commercials, TV, video games, etc. So yes, most job prospects will be west coast based; many larger companies assist with relocation, although this won’t be a problem for me.
I have several contacts at blizzard studios, EA games and Microsoft, as well as a now defunct inroad at digital domain here in Florida, but contacts are contacts and something may come from it.
Salary varies greatly depending on job type, location, size of the studio and prior experience. Starting salaries can vary from $35,000 - 76,000 with higher salaries occurring in the motion picture industry, also the largest employer of my trade. Some overseas studios and many American based graphics design and media arts firms offer hourly pay ranging from 30.00 - 40.00 per hour, obviously not as desirable. It’s not unheard of for animators to make $80,000 or more at companies like ILM, Lucasarts, Pixar, and Weta Digital. Obviously animation directors will make more.
I’m not nor did I ever plan on repaying my current student loans in full directly out of school, and not in my first year, the situation I’m in has forced me to think of other ways of working down that debt, I live and work with the understanding that I will be working down this debt for years, being a person who lives a spartian existance in the first place im not worried about paying for a morgage, kids, SUV payments, or any of the other minuta of an average american, I dont want any of those things, nor will I. everything I earn and save goes to my debt and to my future retirement plans, i have no large draws on my time or money other than working and studying.
Again I appreciate advice on the situation, namely I'm looking for which bank/lender to go after first, or some other out of the box idea on how to tackle this situation.