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Paying for Flight TrainingThree Ways To Finance your Dream
By Kyle Garrett
Learning to fly, whether for a pilot career or other aspirations, is an exciting process that involves plenty of hard-work. If you read the news, you might feel some of the hardest work is just paying for flight training. This is the unfortunate truth for many, but it's important to understand that learning to fly is not beyond the common person. From paying cash as you go to winning scholarships to financing, there are many ways to fund your flying adventures. At this time, financing is arguably one of the most reliable sources of funding. If you're considering financing your flight training, you might want to look into these three options: financing offered through your flight school, financing through independent loans, and financing with credit cards.
Financing Through Your Flight School
Depending on the size of your flight school, you may have several financing possibilities. At some smaller schools, you may find fewer options than at much larger schools. Companies like Pilot Finance offer loans for flight training that are available fairly widely, but due to increased risks, their rates tend to be a little higher and terms shorter than other options. At larger schools, such as the multi-regional ATP, you may find a greater number of options available through a dedicated finance department. Thanks in part to their size, larger schools are able to employ people to seek out financing from banks and other lenders that can be a huge benefit when it comes time for paying for your flight training.
Financing Through Independent Loans
Another option, which can take more of your time but is often just as fruitful, is finding your own independent financing. Most local and national banks and credit unions offer a myriad of loans and financing options for everything from buying cars and boats to consolidating debt. While flight training loans are unlikely to show up in bank promotions, there are usually several loan options you can easily apply toward your flight training, including home equity loans and personal loans.
Financing With Credit Cards
A final option for many is credit cards. Depending on your card's annual percentage rate, this may be the best option available for many short term loans. For some it may be the only option. Certainly don't take this to mean you should charge an entire $50,000 dollar commercial pilot program in one go, but for smaller expenses, such as a single certificate or rating course, a credit card can mean the difference between being able to continue your training without interruption and being forced to stop.
The most important thing to remember, regardless of the financing options available, is to consider all the options available before committing yourself to one option. Financing is an important tool in paying for flight training, but it isn't without risk. Once you know all the available options, it becomes much easier to find the one with the most benefits, whether it's credit cards or a training loan, to finance your flight training.