I work in a creative/design field as well. The best advice I have has two elements
1. I can give is to consider alternate ways to get into the field without such a high up-front cost. Are you willing to do this as a side-gig or hobby while your primary job is higher-paying, more secure (times like these)/less cyclical? I'm not sure if this is a field you can break into that way, but with college you're going to have 1. the cost of attending. 2 the cost of wages you would have earned if you were otherwise working.
With creative fields, it seems to be largely a meritocracy so if you can find out if you're successful at it before you sink big money into an education that'd be great.
2. think of ways you could use interest, animation/cartoon art, in other fields. In my field, architecture, a lot of people love doing renderings of projects. So many people will end up in positions where they do renderings occasionally but do many other architectural tasks. Those people have stronger careers typically than people who are full time renders. Their jobs are more stable, they make more money and they're more like to be kept in hard times. Also having a diversified skill set is always good long-term.
The other thing you could do to set yourself apart from other animators/cartoon artists would be to study and try and excel at the business aspect of it. Trying to get clients, learning about could business practices if you go the freelance direction, etc. In my field, Architecture, Architects are notorious for not being good at running businesses. I think that is likely inherent to the design/creative fields.