Real Answers from Real Pilots

Financing without Cosigner

(Julian Coletta) #21

Hey Marcus,

While doing my due diligence and figuring out all financial options I may have to begin my accelerated program early next year, I too had similar questions to yours. A 80k-100k loan is practically impossible without a co-signer. My wife and I both have great jobs now and make over 100k a year and both Wells Fargo and Sally Mae turned us down. One better option I found than the private loan route is getting multiple lines of credit. While you most likely could not do this for an accelerated program, if you get all of your licenses piece by piece at a local FBO, credit cards often offer much lower apr rates than private loans. You can also apply for cards with 0%apr for 15+ months, giving you more time to pay them back than many private loan term offers.

(Michelle Canaria) #22

Hi Sergey,

You said you applied for two loans for 50% of the amount 30 days apart and got approved, did you get approved with SLM or WF or did you apply and got approved for 50% from each? I find it interesting that you got approved the second time because as far as I know the second inquiry will affect your credit score but I’m really hoping I can do the same thing too if I don’t get approved for the full amount. Thanks for all your help!

(Marcus) #23

Hi Michelle,

I am not sure how likely it will be that you’ll get approved for more than one loan because it’s no different than applying for one at the larger amount.

According to Kirk with ATP, he said that Sallie Mae and Wells Fargo look for a $15,000 credit limit when making approval decisions for future ATP students.

(Marcus) #24

Interesting read on lenders who may approve without a cosigner…

According to this article, Sallie Mae will approve students without a cosigner under “special circumstances.” Anyone know what these circumstances are? This article does not go into detail nor do I see anything on their website about students with special circumstances.

Everytime I have called Sallie Mae to see if they will reconsider their decision (whether it be a higher interest rate, etc.) they are no help at all. They just reiterate their scripted responses.

(Sergey Kireyev) #25

It was with SLMA. Your score gets affected slightly by the inquiries and should not impact your ability to secure a second loan. It does get hit hard when the school starts drawing on the loan and your debt to income ratio spikes.

(Sergey Kireyev) #26

Ok. I guess I really sweet talked them through my online applications then. Because when I applied for two separate loans, I didn’t even need to speak to anyone at SLMA. It was completely an online process including the approval.

(Michelle Canaria) #27

Thanks Sergey! This is really helpful, I guess I will submit application now as I’m getting really agitated. It’ll be easier for me to determine my next course of action once I have the result. How was the second process? You just repeated the same thing you did the first time you applied?

@musulinm, do you have any idea if the $15,000 credit limit applies to me or both me and my co signer?

(Sergey Kireyev) #28

It is an online application. I just resubmitted the application from the same account a month and one day later and asked for the other half minus one dollar. Perhaps their lending practices changed but this was around May of this year. I do have a good and long credit history (for now), and I did apply with no co-signer.

(Marcus) #29


Depending on your loan amount you’re requesting, they are looking for you yourself to have a $15,000 credit limit. It’s different for cosigner considering they will have a much longer credit history and generally more income.

Also note: this credit limit is mainly of concern when applying yourself.

(Marcus) #30


I am not sure if you meant for your last response to come across sarcastically or passive agressive, but I never insinuated you “sweet talked” Sallie Mae.

I was providing my personal experience that everytime I have contacted them, they don’t hold an actual conversation with you. Their responses to your questions are clearly scripted by the company.

(Sergey Kireyev) #31

Well, by talking about the “two smaller loans being the same as a larger one” you’re suggesting something without having tried the approach that I personally successfully took yourself. I was stating what I did for the sake of a potential student that may get discouraged from following this approach after reading your statement. Yes, SLMA is a big organization with a very structured approach. They have to be structured in order to protect their unsecured loans from people defaulting on them. They can’t repossess your degree, licenses or ratings. Take it whichever way you want it…

(Randall Bowman) #33

I have heard that on some loans, after twelve or more consecutive full payments are made, the cosigner name comes off the loan. Not sure this is the case with this type of loan but if true, perhaps the original poster’s potential cosigner might feel differently?

On another related issue and I have never seen this question asked, is what happens if a student does wash out of the program for whatever reason? Is the total amount still owed or is the unused portion returned?



The unused portion would be returned less flight hours flown, admin fees etc.


(Randall Bowman) #35

Thank you Adam for your response.

(Randall Bowman) #36

I just spoke with ATP financing and Sallie Mae will remove the cosigner;s name after 12 consecutive months of on time full payments. Wells Fargo will do the same when 24 months of consecutive on time full payments are made. I was curious to know the answer since we would most likely will be our daughter’s cosigner when the time comes. Hope all works out for you.

(Marcus) #37

Hi Randall,

Yes, you are correct.

Though as I have stated previously, I do not have anyone to cosign for me. So I suppose at present I am out of luck.

(Sergey Kireyev) #38

I am going to offer up some unsolicited advice because at times when we are pressed to do something we really want, we may become blind to some of the options. If you’re having trouble finding a co-signer because your available co-signers have a deficit of trust in your ability to keep up with the payments and having to take over the loan, as someone mentioned (I completely forgot about the option) SLMA offers the option of dropping the consigner off the loan after 12 consecutive on-time payments. With that in mind, you can open a savings account and start setting aside 12 months worth of payments into it. If you find a trustworthy co-signer, you can set up an escrow account for the purpose of meeting the loan obligations and provide assurances that the loan will be covered until they can be taken off of it. Hope this helps

(Danielle Calnin) #39

This is a good page on the ATP website to share with someone who may consider co-signing a loan to help you reach your goal of becoming a professional pilot:

(Kyle Penland ) #40

Have you considered Prosper or LendingClub…Both offer unsecured loans up to 35k…You could apply and see what happens. I wouldn’t apply to both…Try Lending Club first. Then pay it off and repeat. I wouldn’t say it is for educational purposes but rather a large purchase. Good Luck!

(Marcus) #41

Hey Kyle -

I tried Lending Club, but haven’t tried Prosper.

Thanks for recommending them!