Real Answers from Real Pilots

ATP Loan Options


#1

We get a lot of questions about financing, so I called into the office today to ask for specifics on what loan programs are available to ATP students, specifically I was interested in how long a student can defer a loan payment for while they are instructing. The following is what I learned:

Wells Fargo offers a loan deferral for instructors until they reach 1500 hours (up to a max of 48 months, excluding the 6-month post-graduation grace period) and interest rates start at 4.81% for a 15 year loan. This program is called “Internship Forbearance”, contact Wells Fargo for more information.

Sallie Mae rates start at 4.37% for a 15 year loan and they offer an interest-only payment (for up to 24 months) while instructing for ATP. ATP projects 18-24 months of instructing at ATP in order to reach 1500 hours, so either program should carry a student to day one of being at an airline.

As always, contact your financial advisor for guidance and the lending institutions themselves for more on the various loan programs. Of course ATP’s financing department is also happy to help answer questions.

Chris


#2

(Julio Van Lange) #3

Hey Chris,

I’m thinking your credit when applying will influence the interest rate for your loan? Is there a bracket (minimum and maximum percentages) given for these loans? For some reason I thought the interest rates were much higher so that’s a relief to see those numbers! I would like to pay it off ASAP!

I will be moving to the US permanently in January (I’m 27 btw) and I am seriously considering following my dream of becoming an airline pilot and starting ATP (I’ll be joining the rest of my family in Roselle NJ and plan to check their Morristown NJ location which is roughly a 30 min commute) as early as possible next year and I will definitely be taking a loan (with co-signer).

Thanks for the info you already provided and if you don’t know thats alright, I just want to have as much info as possible so I can know what to expect. If I was there already I would go myself.

Julio


(Caleb Shearer) #4

Hey Julio,

You are correct in that there is a bracket. I’m not completely sure what the upper end of that bracket is but for reference I got my financing secured through Sallie Mae about two weeks ago. I have good credit in the mid 700’s and so did my cosigner, as well as some pretty well established credit history between the two of us and my loan through Sallie Mae sits at almost 9% (I was also approved for Wells Fargo and the interest rate was almost identical) So your mileage can certainly vary. Hope my anecdote helps some.

Caleb


(Julio Van Lange) #5

Hey Caleb,

Thanks for something to compare and work with. I’ve only been building credit for a year as a supplementary card holder on my sister’s account (about 10K in credit which is not much but I never used any, just wanted to start building credit) and I will become a permanent resident when I move in January.

9% doesn’t seem too bad (I would snatch that offer in the blink of an eye if my loan gets approved whenever I apply) but its double what Chris quoted above and that’s a big difference. My sister has great credit (mid 700s) and a great job so her co-signing should help me out alot.

I’ve been wanting to become a pilot since I was 5 years old, it’s something I’m very passionate about so there’s question about my dedication but my only worry is securing the loan. I had to put this dream on hold for about 8 years and now it’s seems as though I may have the opportunity to finally start. I am enjoying this forum immensely, so much great info. Congrats on your loan approval by the way, I know you probably can’t wait to get started.

Julio


(Caleb Shearer) #6

Good deal, congrats on becoming a permanent resident soon.

I knew what to expect, but 9% still took me by surprise. Since it is an unsecured and not federally subsidized loan the expectation should be that it will be high. I mean, 8.8% over the full term of the loan will amount to paying double the loan based on what I took out to cover the cost of ATP, checkride fees, and supplemental living costs. I don’t intend on taking the full 15 years to pay it off, but it’s definitely something you have to understand before jumping into it that it just might take you all 15 years. I can’t count on money I don’t yet have unfortunately, but this is definitely an investment in myself so I treat it as such. The reason I say that is I am in the same situation of wanting to be a pilot since an extremely young age as well and only being held back from getting my PPL in my teens due to lacking financial ability at the time. Having to take out a loan to pursue this is quite a small price to pay for the potential fulfillment in front of me. The earning potential also helps too.


(Julio Van Lange) #7

Caleb,

Thanks, I understand completely and feel the same way. I also wanted to start earlier but I couldn’t afford it. That investment in myself is a small price to pay to be able to do what I love for the rest of my life. I hope to not take the entire 15 years to pay back but you never know what can happen. I’m gonna aim high and try to pay it back in half the time.

Julio.


#8

Julio,

I am not sure about interest rates and things of that matter, but the people in the admissions department are experts on that and will be happy to help you, contact them directly.

Chris


(Mekan) #9

Hi, my name is Mekan Altayev, I have a bachelor degree of National Aviational University in Kiev, aircraft maintenance, now I’m in US and want to be a pilot, so can you tell me step by step what I have to do?


#10

Mekan,

The first thing you should do is visit the FAQ section as we take you through the process.
https://www.airlinepilot.life/t/how-do-i-become-an-airline-pilot/10891

Adam


#11

Mekan,

Please take a look at the FAQ section as much of what you ask is answered there.

Chris


(Julio Van Lange) #12

Hey Caleb,

Quick 2 questions if you don’t mind me asking… How much was your total loan amount and what will be your monthly payments after your grace period is over?

Julio


(Caleb Shearer) #13

Hey Julio,

-Total Loan amount was just under $100k. $76k for ATP, $6,600 for checkride fees, and the rest to cover rent and other personal bills.
-Monthly payment after grace period will be close to $1,100…so pretty steep. I will be looking forward to tuition reimbursement come 500 hours.

Caleb


(Julio Van Lange) #14

Caleb,

Thanks alot for that info. I’ll save this thread and reply in a few months when I apply and give you an update on mine. Appreciate it.

Julio.


#15

Caleb,

I think tuition reimbursement is a great thing and can really help with http loan payment.

Chris