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Old 08-29-2017, 05:07 PM   #1
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Default Flight School Loans

I've made the decision to purse my love for flying and go to ATP for my ratings. They only offer Wells Fargo and Sallie Mae for loan options. I got offered 10% interest for both loans.

Is there any other reliable companies that would offer loans instead of these outrageous interest rates?
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Old 08-29-2017, 05:13 PM   #2
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Going by what others have posted on here in the past, the answer is generally....not really. A bank loaning 90k unsecured to someone with no income is always going to be considered a higher risk and with that comes higher interest rates.

disclaimer - I did very little loan research when I got started in training as I had saved for a few years previously. So I wiped out my savings along with PAYG for the rest rather than loans. Others can probably give more detailed info.
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Old 08-31-2017, 12:22 PM   #3
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Don't get into debt chasing this career. It totally crushes you. Plus, there's no guarantee that you'll be successful in training. So think very carefully before you deep six yourself financially.
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Old 09-01-2017, 12:18 PM   #4
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Wells Fargo and Sallie Mae aren't the only options for ATP (or any other flight school). They are simply two options ATP has chosen for convenience. You can use any reputable lender or, if you're lucky, the proverbial rich uncle.

Now, as far as getting into debt, it isn't necessarily a bad thing. Everyone's financial situation is different and so is their debt tolerance. This is where thinking ahead is vital. Your primary focus is to make sure that you can service said debt while also taking care of the day to day stuff (living expenses, etc). In short, learn to love Ramen.

ATP quotes "earn up to $42k/year" working as on of their CFIs. This figure includes the "up to $11,000 in tuition reimbursements" figure. Not all airline partners offer that amount and not all participate in any sort of tuition reimbursement. The key here is to assume you'll make the rock bottom amount as a CFI. Last time I did the math (about a year ago) that figure was about $28k ~ 30K per year. With that in mind, and with help from my family, the math worked. Your situation might be better, or worse. There is no one size fits all answer here.

Bottom line: unless you are independently wealthy, there will be some "belt tightening" needed to pursue professional flying.
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Old 09-01-2017, 01:56 PM   #5
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Quote:
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Don't get into debt chasing this career.
Unless you're independently wealthy or in the military, that isn't a possibility.
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Old 09-01-2017, 03:15 PM   #6
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Unless you're independently wealthy or in the military, that isn't a possibility.
Always ways, buy a 150 for 15k, all in costs around $40/hr, find a local independent CFI and work on it around a full time job... Just takes longer and is more effort. My buddy just did this route and is at cpl sel for less than 20k after he sells his 150.

I feel like I get approached by students today that are concerned with getting things done as fast as possible. Right here right now attitude, and thats ok, the industry is hot now, fastest way to seniority and big bucks etc, but it will cost.
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Old 09-01-2017, 03:28 PM   #7
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Quote:
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Unless you're independently wealthy or in the military, that isn't a possibility.
You are pretty negative about this topic. It definitely is possible to pay for training without debt. It will take longer, and will be harder, but it's possible and will pay off in the long run vs using a loan. Especially, if you struggle in training or end up quitting. There is no guarantee that you'll make it to a major, (not making it) would ruin the ROI of your loan and make it hard to pay back.

SF, You gotta go out and make it happen for yourself, it won't drop in your lap.
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Old 09-01-2017, 05:45 PM   #8
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It definitely is possible to pay for training without debt.
I don't know anyone who isn't independently wealthy to be able to reasonably save about $60-$80k for flight training on the side.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PRS Guitars View Post
It will take longer, and will be harder, but it's possible and will pay off in the long run vs using a loan.
And therein lies the rub. Even if working people could do it, it would take so long that you would be losing money over the course of your career because it will take that much longer to start earning, plus getting lower seniority.


Quote:
Originally Posted by PRS Guitars View Post
There is no guarantee that you'll make it to a major, (not making it) would ruin the ROI of your loan and make it hard to pay back.
Also not true. A regional captain salary allows one to pay off a training loan early.


I'm probably the most anti-debt person on the forum, but again, unless one is independently wealthy or in the military, it just isn't possible to save enough money in a reasonable amount of time to get one's ratings. The cost of training is too high.

And they wonder why they can't people to sign up for this career?
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Old 09-01-2017, 06:08 PM   #9
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Buying an aircraft works for many people. Others, not so much. Generally speaking, an aircraft is cheeper per hour the more it's flown, but there are still fixed costs to consider: Insurance, Hangar or tie-down fees, and Annual Inspections. Further, I wouldn't by any used aircraft without a pre-buy inspection from an A&P that I myself have chosen.

Lease-back is worth looking into as well. The way it works at the club I belong too, the club manages the aircraft (performs maintenance, inspections, etc) and uses rental fees to cover those costs. The owner then receives revenue from the aircraft should maintenance be less than rental fees or a bill for what is still owed. Further, the owner can then "rent" their own aircraft for only the cost of fuel, but they don't get priority scheduling. Not all clubs and FBOs do lease-backs and of course the terms and conditions vary.

Lots of different ways to get it done.
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Old 09-01-2017, 06:24 PM   #10
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Pay your own way through the private & then see if you're still on fire for aviation.

$8500/50hrs (average cost and flight time) = $170/hr. Even with part time work, you should be able to swing an hour of flight instruction each week and end up shy of a year with a private pilot's license.

IF you still want to pursue flying professionally, you'll have a year of trying to earn grants and searching out the best deals on loans.

Borrowing to go from zero to hero has burned countless potential pilots and this board is littered with their stories. Don't say you weren't warned.
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