Financing For Future Pilots with Flight School Loans

Written by Animesh Prasad

The journey on which Animesh embarked to become an engineer ended up with him turning into a content writer. As he progressed to his final year, he realized engineering isn't really his forte and pursued his love for writing. He has a deep interest in finance and loves traveling.

June 25, 2021

According to L3Harris, a global leader in airline pilot training, getting a commercial pilot’s license could cost more than $83,995 per year, while a private pilot’s license could cost around $11,500. Although these figures of the cost of pilot finance loans do not reach the levels of a four-year degree from a university, going to a flight school is certainly not cheap. Also, there is an acute shortage of trusted information available regarding flight school loans, so here’s the solution for you. 

This article has all the information related to student loans for flight school, flight school financing and other aviation scholarships. Let’s get started.

How To Get Flight School Loans

Like college, aviation training is quite expensive, and it’s highly unlikely you have the savings or income to pay for it in full. That means you’ll likely have to rely on loans. To receive flight school financing, you’ll take the same steps as a student pursuing a four-year degree — your options will just be more limited. Let’s look at each option, starting with federal loans.

Federal Financial Aid For Flight Training Loans

Federal financial aid should definitely be the first step for all students looking for financing. This is because federal aid comes with way better terms and repayment options. Unfortunately, federal aid is only available to students attending schools that are accredited, and most flight schools are not.

However, just because this holds true for the majority of schools, doesn’t mean that is the case for all of them. It’s best to ask schools you’re considering if they accept federal financial aid. Here are some types of federal student loans you could receive for flight school:

Direct Subsidized Loan: This type of loan is available to students who can demonstrate they have financial needs in documents. In this option, there are limits on how much you can borrow. The Department of Education pays the interest on subsidized loans while you’re in school, during deferment and for the first six months after you leave.

Direct Unsubsidized Loan: Here too, you have a limit on the borrowing amount but you are not required to show financial need. You’re responsible for paying all interest, and the interest will accrue while you’re in school.

Don’t forget to read: Subsidized Loan Vs An Unsubsidized Loan: Which Is Better And Why

Direct PLUS Loan: This type of loan is available to parents of aviation school students. They can borrow up to the cost of tuition minus any financial aid, but they’ll need to submit to a credit check to qualify. Read more about this loan here: PLUS Loan: A Complete Guide.

Work-Study: Work-study programme provides part-time jobs to undergraduate, graduate, and professional students with financial needs. The money earned is used to pay for school.

In addition to possibly getting government-funded flight school loans, filling out the FAFSA could also unlock the Federal Pell Grant. Since this is not a loan, it doesn’t need to be repaid. You just need to demonstrate the financial need to qualify. The maximum award amount for the 2020-2021 school year was $6,345.

Flight School Loans: Private Lenders

Like I mentioned before, many flight schools are ineligible for federal loans. Even if you get one, it might not cover your full cost of attendance. In these cases, you might have to resort to private flight school loans. But there are a few important things to know before applying:

  • Not all private lenders offer flight school loans

It’s important to know that not all private lenders issue loans for flight school, as it’s considered a trade school. On the other hand, some banks, credit unions and online lenders — such as CollegeAve, Wells Fargo and Sallie Mae — have specific loan programmes geared towards aviation school.

  • Private loans differ from federal loans

Federal student loans are issued by the government, whereas private student loans are offered through private lenders and other financial institutions. For private loans, the eligibility requirements, interest rates and repayment terms are determined by the lender. Be sure to shop around to find the lowest rates and your best overall loan.

Recommended Reading: 3 Easy Ways To Find Out Whether A Student Loan Is Federal Or Private.

If you decide that a private student loan is the best option for you, all you need to do is fill the form in this blog. You can easily save a ton of effort by doing so and a professional team from UniCreds will contact you to ensure you get the loan for pilot loan training for yourself. 

Worried about financing your education abroad? Fill the form in this blog for deals on loans!

Other Types of Flight School Loans

In addition to federal and private student loans, there are other ways to find flight training loans. Make sure to explore some of these options:

  1. Your school’s financial aid office

Because there are limited options for student loans for flight school, some schools offer financing programmes to students. Ask your school whether it has any financing programmes. If it does, compare the terms with private lenders to see if it’s the best deal you can get.

If you need resources on scholarships available in the US, head straight to: Scholarships To Study In The USA.

  1. Airline training programme

Airlines sometimes offer tuition reimbursement programmes or their own training programmes. If you’ve already determined which airline you plan to fly for, check to see whether it offers one of these programmes.

  1. Pilot training loans

In addition to flight school loans, you can find funding specifically for aviation training. Some examples include:

Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) Aviation Finance offers multi-rating (private and instrument) financing for as little as $75 per month, depending on your credit score and how much you borrow.

American Airlines Federal Credit Union is accessible to Air Transportation Industry employees for loans up to $40,000.

WE Florida Financial has the We Fly programme, which provides a fixed-rate line of credit for up to $30,000.

Hope you found this blog helpful. Good luck with your career ahead. Cheers!


1. Can I get a loan for my pilot training?

Banks or NBFCs may offer students an education loan for pilot training. The borrower is qualified for a good student loan that will cover their course-related costs based on the value of the collateral they provide.

2. How do you get money for pilot training?

While you may notice that several airlines provide scholarships and grants for pilot training to students, it is not possible to cover the entire cost of the programme and not everyone will be eligible for these scholarships. It is therefore quite common amongst many students to look for education loans offered by many banks and NBFCs for pilot training courses.

3. How much do you need to invest to be a pilot?

If you have no prior experience and want to become a pilot, it will cost you approximately $91,995, but if you have a private pilot licence, it will only cost you $71,995 approx. The flying training and certification required to get a commercial pilot licence are included in both prices.

4. How long does it take to pay off flight school loans?

Most students repay their student loans over a period of 10 to 15 years, with a 12-month grace period. When the course is over, the moratorium will begin. However, the duration might vary depending on the flexibility of your loan repayment options and other such factors.

Thank you for reading this blog on ‘Flight School Loans: Brilliant Options To Finance Pilot Training’. If you enjoyed reading this blog and would like to continue reading more about student loans then the following blogs may interest you.

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