Artists Financial Support Group (AFSG)

noun

1. A safe and supportive group of concerned NYU Grad Acting Alumni who regularly meet, talk, learn, and strategize on how to deal with massive student debt as a result of an NYU education.

2. A group of NYU Grad Acting Alumni who have created an ongoing cirriculum to educate incoming and outgoing NYU Grad Acting students on how to best plan their financial lives in and out of school.

3. A group of NYU Grad Acting Students who aim to create lobbying power to lower the tuition of art schools and programs.

Monday
Mar052012

Artists Financial Support Group Podcast Episode 1

In this episode, host and member Ben Graney, AFSG founder Freddy Arsenault, and member Matt Carlson discuss the Artists Financial Support Group mission:

1. Educate student and professional artists on financial self-advocacy through workshops and publications.

2. Advocate legislative and institutional change concerning the cost of arts education as well as more lenient student loan repayment process.

3. Innovate new ways to manage student loan debt and to budget with the erratic income of an artist.

For more info go to: www.artistsfinancialsupportgroup.com

Or email us at: artists.financial.support.group@gradactingalumni.org

Artists Financial Support Group Podcast Episode 1

Thursday
Sep152011

Legislative Action Alert!

Dear NYU Graduate Actors, 

Let's talk bankruptcy. 

One of our ever-present missions in the AFSG is ensure that artists are aware of any legislation that could negatively or positively affect their finances. With that in mind we offer you this:

In both houses of Congress the Fairness for Struggling Students Act of 2011 and the Private Loan Bankruptcy Fairness Act of 2011 are pending. These acts would make private school loans dischargeable through bankruptcy. 

Below are some articles which can help educate you on the matter.

Relief for Student Debtors - The New York Times

Student Borrowers Could Shed Debt With Propsed Law - CBS

Default Rate Rises On Student Loans As Economy Falters - The Atlanta Journal

While The GAAA and AFSG in now way, shape or form advocate declaring bankruptcy, we feel that it is essential to fight for the option to declare bankruptcy. Particularly for those artists who are suffering from the effects of the predatory student loan lending craze and for the select few whose finances would be worse without being able to declare bankruptcy.

Please, seriously consider writing your Senators and Representatives to endorse the Fairness for Struggling Students Act of 2011 and the Private Loan Bankruptcy Fairness Act of 2011. This could be a major step towards correcting the ultra-shady business tactics used by universitys and banks alike, now and before the financial crisis of 2008. 

Your Senators and Representatives e-mail information can be found here:

http://www.contactingthecongress.org

To make the letter writing process easier, we offer you a form letter which is pasted below. If you are for this legislation, and I truly hope that you are, simply cut, paste, fill in the blanks, make your editions and send.

Should you have any questions, please write Freddy Arsenault at: freddy.arsenault@gmail.com

Sample Letter:

"Dear Ranking Member xxxxxxx:

I am writing to express my strong support for the Private Student Loan Bankruptcy Fairness Act of 2011 and Fairness for Struggling Student Act of 2011. Private student loans are one of the riskiest, most expensive ways to pay for college. Like credit cards, they typically have variable interest rates that are higher for those who can least afford them. However, private student loans are treated much more harshly in bankruptcy than credit cards and other comparable types of debt.

Private student loan borrowers also lack access to the important deferment, income-based repayment, or loan forgiveness options that come with federal student loans. This leaves most private loan borrowers at the mercy of the lender if they face financial distress due to unemployment, disability, illness or military deployment, or when a school shuts down before they can finish their certificate or degree.

With recent reports that student loan debt has outpaced credit card debt, the Private Student Loan Bankruptcy Fairness Act of 2011 is needed now more than ever. This legislation would reverse the unfair and unjustified special bankruptcy protections for private student lenders included in the 2005 bankruptcy law. Thank you for your leadership on this important issue.

Signed,"

 

Saturday
May212011

Welcome to the FSG!

Join Us! Let's get this finance stuff straight! With undergraduate and graduate loans combined, many leave our program with, sometimes in excess of, $100,000.00 - $175,000.00 in student loan debt. At times the transition from borrowing to paying can deliver quite a shock, andmay seem overwhelming to manage. 

Therefore, in order to help smooth the transition into paying back student loans and calm stressful emotions for recent graduates (i.e. 2000 - current graduates) the GAAA would like to introduce the Financial Support Group; a group dedicated to offering financial troubleshooting and emotional support to Graduate Actors dealing with the effects of debt. As two, three, or even five hundred heads are better than one, ideally this group will strive to draw from the knowledge of its own community in order to help the community. 

The GAAA's Financial Support Group will aim too:

1) Provide support in dealing with paying back your loans. There are many realistic options available to us that some many not know about. These meetings will offer a ground on which to troubleshoot and find your best, least stressful and financially aware avenues with which to pay back your loans.

2) Keep an updated awareness of recent plans and acts concerning student financial aid that are being passed through congress (i.e. IBRP, ICRP, College Cost Reduction and Access Act, Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, etc.). Obama and the government are trying to pass some interesting bills on the front of financial aid; combining facts can only give us a clearer view of our future. 

3) Offer emotional support! You are not isolated; there are many in our program dealing with your same problem; this is a shared experience. 

4) Ensure that incoming and outgoing Graduate Acting Program students are aware and educated about the financial decisions that they are choosing to engage in. 

Future FSG meetings will be planned, so keep an eye on you e-mail.

I look forward to hearing from you,

Freddy Arsenault (‘08)
E-mail me at: freddy.arsenault@gmail.com