Funding can be hard to find in regards to flight training. However, financing and loan opportunities have recently become more accesible than ever before.
We have partnered with two finance companies to help fund students’ training, Sallie Mae and Meritize. Sallie Mae is available to students for all our professional and recreational programs. Meritize is available to only those with professional flight goals, not for recreational purposes. The American Airlines’ Cadet Academy offers a unique financing option through their program as well. The American Airlines’ Cadet Academy is for people who specifically want to pursue an airline career. At Coast Flight Training, we have funding for whichever aviation path a student is interested in.
Sallie Mae and Meritize have loan opportunities that cover flight training and all tuition, books, and supplies needed during training. If a student trains full time in Private Pilot, Instrument, Commercial Single-Engine, Commercial Multi-Engine, Certified Flight Instructor, and Certified Flight Instructor Instrument ratings, they should finish training within 12 months. Afterward, students typically work as a flight instructor to build the 1,500 hours needed to work at an airline. The repayment schedules specific to these loan opportunities revolve around when full-time students graduate.
Sallie Mae offers a Career Training Smart Option Student Loan.
The Career Training Smart Option Student Loan gives the borrower two repayment options. The borrower can make variable or fixed interest payments monthly while in training. A borrower can make additional payments at any time and will not be penalized for paying off the loan early.
Students must pay monthly while in school but can pay as low as $25 per month. After 12 months of training, borrowers will begin principal and interest payments.
Sallie Mae recommends the borrower consider adding a cosigner to their application. Those who apply with a cosigner have almost a two times greater chance to be approved.
A cosigner consents to share legal liability in repaying the loan and does not have to be related to the borrower. However, the cosigner must have good credit, and Sallie Mae will evaluate their credit with the borrower’s credit. If a borrower decides they would like to release their cosigner, they can do so if they have made 12 timely principal and interest payments, met specific credit requirements, and have graduated from training.
If you’re interested in learning more details or applying for the Sallie Mae Career Training Smart Option Student Loan, you can do so here: https://www.salliemae.com/student-loans/career-training-smart-option-student-loan/?dtd_cell=SMCCSOBRPROTR010000
Meritize is another great financing option to cover training.
Meritize uses more than an applicants’ credit score to evaluate loan options. If the applicant has any previous military, academic, or work experience, it can be added to their application to possibly improve their loan opportunities.
For academic experience, applicants may show experience with transcripts or high school equivalency scores. For military experience, one will show their military documents, such as the DD214, and for work experience, Meritize will look at the applicant’s employment history.
Borrowers are not required to begin payments until after 12 months of training, when a full-time student typically graduates. Once the student has graduated and is working as a Certified Flight Instructor, the borrower will begin making $150 monthly payments for two years while building 1,500 hours of flight time. It often takes CFIs two years to build 1,500 hours of flight time, so the borrower will not pay full principal and interest payments until after two years of building flight time and being hired at an airline.
Like Sallie Mae, Meritize allows the borrower to choose from fixed or variable interest rates. If the borrower decides to use autopay, they will receive a 0.25% discount on the interest rate. In addition, Meritize gives borrowers free career services and allows them to check their loan options without affecting their credit score.
If you are interested in applying for a Meritize loan or need further information, you can find it at: https://apply.meritize.com
American Airlines has partnered with a third loan company available for American Airlines’ Cadets that does not require a cosigner or any credit history.
If you want further information on the American Airlines’ Cadet Academy and its application, you can find it here: AA Cadet Academy
If you have questions not answered on the website link provided above, you can email American Airlines at CadetAcademy@aa.com.
Sallie Mae and Meritize facilitate a way for those who dream of becoming professional pilots to finance and fulfill their dreams. If flying has been a dream of yours, but you haven’t had the means, then the time to apply is now!