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Old 08-31-2017, 07:29 AM   #1
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Default Before I make a huge decision..

I am unable to afford to pay out of pocket for my flight training. I have 56 units towards my Bachelor's degree and I was curious what flight schools are the best for your money that offer student loans?

I am 24. Would like to train as fast as possible just because thats how my mindset is. I was thinking of doing ATP (which a location just opened up 20 minutes from me) and then while flight instructor just finish my bachelors at a local state university.

Pros and Cons for other schools too please...

This is a huge decision as most of you know and I am curious to see what my fellow aviation lovers think..

Last edited by sadietp; 08-31-2017 at 07:44 AM.
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Old 08-31-2017, 08:21 AM   #2
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I would not recommend going into massive debt to pursue this career.
Have you looked at all possible scholarships? Student loans are fine for obtaining your undergrad degree, but do you really want to pile on another $50-100K in debt for flight training? Get your degree as quickly and cheaply as possible and then go military.
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Old 08-31-2017, 08:48 AM   #3
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Going to somewhere like ATP will leave you paying 700-1000 per month for years. Sometimes paying out of pocket is the best thing to do, even if it takes a lot longer. There is no instant gratification in this industry. I worked a job I hated for several years to save the money required to complete my training. Im 32 now, should get to a regional at 33/34 but debt free.

If you are happy to take on a loan I would recommend going to a college to finish your degree in an aviation related field. This way you can use regular college loans to pay for your training, plus take advantage of the R-ATP. This would make more financial sense than somewhere like ATP in my opinion.
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Old 08-31-2017, 03:15 PM   #4
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I say go for it. I did something similar. Went to Atp when I was 21, took out a loan, and worked at the degree online after flight school. It really sucked paying the loan back, but I'm now at a major in my early 30's and have no student loan or flight school debt. It really comes down to discipline. When I upgraded at my last job I was paying $2K a month extra to the student loan instead of buying toys. Getting the hour building started sooner put me years ahead of someone who pays as they go. Being hired 5 years sooner will give you 5 more years at airline captain pay at the end of your career (if that's the route you end up going).
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Old 08-31-2017, 06:08 PM   #5
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I had already graduated with my bachelors a couple years back but was in the same boat earlier this year as far as going to ATP or training at an FBO flight school. If you can somehow front the cash and find an FBO/CFI who is willing to work with you at an accelerated rate, it can be easily done; it just takes self discipline.

I ended up going to a local flight school and paying as I go. I started in late May and just got my Instrument a couple weeks ago. Hoping to have commercial and CFI done by November.
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Old 08-31-2017, 06:56 PM   #6
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Thanks for the help. I should have mentioned I've already done 25 hours and love flying. I have been going to a Junior College so I have no student debt right now. The university I will transfer to is $6,000 per year.

Overall I would be in no more than $100k debt and when I get a better paying position as a pilot in the next 5-7 years I should be able to pay the loan off quickly.

Thanks again for the help.
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Old 09-01-2017, 12:25 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by sadietp View Post
Thanks for the help. I should have mentioned I've already done 25 hours and love flying.
I'd recommend completing your PPL before going to ATP, or any other formal training program. At the very least, you'll get a handle on your learning style. Also, you'll likely save money.
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Old 09-12-2017, 08:33 PM   #8
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I agree with the previous poster, get your Private Certificate. However, here's more: Buy a 150 or 152 (or similar trainer) for 15,000 and fly the pants off of it. Along the way, get your instrument and do it your airplane. Next up commercial (need a retractable for that, a $5-6,000 training outlay). Route 1) Get a job flying banners or ferrying airplanes, fly a jump plane. Build your time. Route 2) Become a CFI, get your last thousand hours in a year at a busy school.
Skip the $$$ outlay and high pressure at ATP.
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Old 09-13-2017, 06:12 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sadietp View Post
Thanks for the help. I should have mentioned I've already done 25 hours and love flying. I have been going to a Junior College so I have no student debt right now. The university I will transfer to is $6,000 per year.

Overall I would be in no more than $100k debt and when I get a better paying position as a pilot in the next 5-7 years I should be able to pay the loan off quickly.

Thanks again for the help.
Have you considered going to a community college for flight training as well? US Aviation works with Tarrant County College to provide a two year associate's degree program that also goes through CFII.
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Old 09-13-2017, 12:28 PM   #10
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However, here's more: Buy a 150 or 152 (or similar trainer) for 15,000 and fly the pants off of it.
I've mentioned this before in another thread (at least I think I did), but aircraft ownership isn't for everyone. Maintenance is always the biggie. Reminds me of an old joke: The happiest day in an aircraft owner's life? The day they sell the aircraft. Or something along those lines.

At my club, there is a particular 172 that always seems to be down for something, usually minor. There is another 172 that, while a bit older and a bit more ragged, keeps on tickin'.

Ownership is definitely worth considering, especially if you can do a lease-back to a club or school.
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