Real Answers from Real Pilots

Financing without Cosigner

SO the SLM and WF loans. Does anyone know if they offer the repayment to start after you have completed the class? Like a typical student loan. It would be hard to repay the loan while going through the school. When reading about Discover this sounds like something they do. They allow you to start repayment after, and I believe it was this long, 42 months. Just trying to find out about the repayment process. Thank you for any help.


Yes the payments aren’t due till after you complete training. You can even defer them longer but you will continue to accrue interest so it’s not the best idea financially.


Payments can be deferred from between 6 to 24 months. It is up to the student to choose within that range.

Thank you @Adam. I know it is not the best idea to defer payments and accrue interest but I fear it may be my only option at this point.

I deferred my payments for six months. While it was probably not my best financial decision, it was what I needed to do.


Absolutely understand! I did the same. Just saying in case you weren’t aware.


Thank you both. I am fairly certain that I can find a co-signer if required to do so.

I just got approved this morning for a loan up to $100,000 and I’m going through applying for a mortgage loan here in Hawaii. Coming from
the lending point of view, if you drop out of flight school and don’t outside it… how are you going to pay back the loan is the biggest question to be answered. For me I am a manager of a insurance company, which I am now retiring and collecting residual income to pay for my mortgage and loan for flight school. I will be turning 31 on super bowl Go Rams! They asked me directly, if you decide this school or aviation isn’t for you, “ will you be able to get your job back” was what they asked. Lenders are just trying to minimize risk. Try to go establish some sort of financing and credit history and try back in 1-3 years is my recommendation. Save save save as much as you can as well.

Hey Marcus-

I am currently in the same position as you and I noticed it has been a couple months… I was wondering if you ever found a solution? Did you try reapplying with 50% for each bank? Also, did you try extending and diversifying your line of credit?

Thank you!

I recommend those who cannot get financing for ATP look into Lift Academy. Lift Academy is a subsidiary of Republic Airways and offers financing for students through US Credit Inc. This bank offers loans for students admitted into Lift Academy’s flight program with no co-signor required. The stipulations for securing financing without a co-signor is either 660 credit score or no credit history at all.

Once admitted into the Lift Academy you are considered a Republic Airways employee and are guaranteed a job as CFI after completing your ratings, and upon ATP minimums guaranteed a right seat spot flying E170/175 at Republic. Republic is contracted with the Big 3- American, United, Delta. After begininning as a CFI at Lift Academy Republic will pay $350/mo towards your loan and as a first officer $250/mo for 36 months. In addition, Republic will subsidize your $85k investment with $20k, leaving your loan amount to $65k. All is required is that you work for Republic for 5 years or pay back with the loan the subsidized $20k.

Republic Airways is based in Indianapolis, IN therefore relocation to Indiana is required for flight training. Hopefully this helps. I know what its like being rejected for the money. Don’t give up there is always a way, just keep trying!!!


Lift Academy has an interesting program. My problem is first they’ve yet to have a successful graduate placement as the course is so new. Second a 5 year commitment for tuition reimbursement is ridiculous. Virtually every Regional in the country is offering Tuition Reimbursements with no such commitment.

That said it may be an option for some but I’d encourage people to do their research. Flight training isn’t cheap and that’s a fair amount of money to gamble your career on.


Everyone who can form one has a right to their own opinion. You may see it as however you like but the 5 year commitment is a guaranteed job at the end of an investment with arguably one of the best regionals. The tuition is on the lower end of what the market typically charges students, and they help people get financing who otherwise would not get it. Saving time from doing other careers trying to pursue their dream. Get right to it. The program is not for everyone, but what program out there is? The Army has warrant officer pilot training program for high school graduates with no college if you are willing to prove your worth. This career isn’t for everyone. There is a selection process, and I encourage people to look into it for themselves without letting outsiders discourage them. This is an excellent program that offers great value and low cost options to potential students that are out there. It is part 141.

Not to mention they utilize brand new DA40 and DA42s with G1000s, students get an Ipad, laptop, Bose headset, among other equipment, access to top notch training facilities all sponsored by Republic Airways. And the money invested at Lift Academy is no different than money invested at ATP except for the amounts and contracts doing so.

And you know this based on what? As I said the program has yet to produce as single successful airline pilot (not saying that it won’t). You seem to be very defensive of the program and that’s fine. As I said I encourage everyone to do their own research. I do need to point out the fact that you’re mistaken about the degree and the R-ATP which tells me you might want to do more research as well.


I am not mistaken about anything. And it has produced a successful airline pilot. Although he did not start from zero-hero, a flight instructor of the program has already graduated to the right seat of Republic Airways. Unless you have something constructive to say, I’m done responding to you here because I see that you are trying to alienate me in this forum to have moderators delete my input. DM me if you wish.


Again you seem very defensive.

As for being mistaken FAR 61.160 clearly states:
•Graduates from approved four-year universities with a Bachelor’s degree and an aviation major need only 1000 hours total flight time and 200 hours cross-country time if they:
Complete at least 60 credit hours of aviation related coursework, and
Hold a Commercial Pilot Certificate that was earned through the university’s part 141 training program Key words being “EARNED THROUGH THE UNIVERSITY’S Part 141 TRAINING PROGRAM” meaning just having a degree (even if it’s an aviation degree) will not get you a reduction. The training must be completed as part of the degree program.

As for the rest I’ve been participating on this forum for some time and I’d like to think I have had constructive things to say from time to time. Further for the record, I am a moderator on this forum, I have not tried to “alienate you” and could “delete your input” at any time (I need no help). But I haven’t. I simply addressed your statement. I hope you’ll be more open minded in the future.

Peace out


Well my point remains, two more options for flight students who cannot secure loans for ATP are:

1). Lift Academy a subsidiary of Republic Airways which requires no co-signor for a $65k loan with loan repayment assistance and a guaranteed job with Republic Airways waiting for you at the end of the training program. Requirement is a minimum 660 FICO or no credit history.

2). Army warrant officer program which requires a high minimim score on the ASVAB, sterling letters of recommendation, and strong resolve, prove your worth.

There are options so don’t let a single “no” answer stop you or throw you off track. This industry is volatile so get started ASAP.

Adam is correct as I not only instructed for a school that dealt with RATPs, but I also hired at SkyWest and verified their validity. No matter what degree you may or may not have, going through LIFT for the flight training portion would disqualify you for RATP mins. The flying must be conducted at the university where you got the degree.

There are many options out there, and many new fast-paced programs. I can tell you as someone who was hiring at regionals as recent as last year, that you will have no trouble getting on with any of them as long as you’ve got a clean background and training profile. A guaranteed job at Republic is not something special given you will have your pick of any (for 95% of folks - of course there are exceptions).

Given all of this info, I’d be weary of a new program that is just starting to produce zero-hero pilots given ATP has been doing it for decades. Now to be fair, if you can only get financing through some other program or you can get a better deal - then go for it! Everyone has different needs. But I’d be very careful about posting so aggressively on things that you don’t have much experience with yet, especially when speaking with the mentors on here (of which I am not). This community is very small. I’ve crossed many paths of people from my past while I was involved in hiring. Since I was involved in recruiting/interviewing, I knew many recruiters at other airlines as well. When one of us knew the name of a person not likely to get hired, we all did. And at Southwest they actually give all current pilots the ability to recommend or not recommend interviewees. I know a few people who did not get the job for just this reason. It’s important to be respectful and professional from day 1. Good luck to you


I’ve been accepted into Lift Academy, and I just toured my ATP location of first choice. When I pull the trigger in about 2 weeks after I get my first class medical, there is a 99.99% chance that decision will be ATP.

Although the Lift Tour, equipment, facilities and staff were amazing, for me it’s strictly a financial decision and ATP’s track record. Yes, the cost is a little less than ATP, and it may include some materials and fees that ATP does not, but there is a caveat. The Lift cost is strictly tuition. When I toured and spoke with staff, I specifically asked about housing and living expenses. These are not included in the loan, and they actually confirmed there is no easy way to roll them in to the loan as an option like it is with ATP. The lender will allow, under some circumstances, some of it to be added to the loan on top of tuition, but they said as soon as you go down that road you can kiss the no co-singer goodbye, and they also jack up the interest rates exponentially.

Again, I’m not trying to dissuade anyone from making any particular decision. As Adam said, everyone should do their homework and choose what’s right for them.

For me, being that I am making a mid-career change (I’ll be 37 in a couple weeks), and don’t have thousands of dollars in the bank for living expenses, both time and money are of the essence, and one of the top reasons I gravitated towards ATP (besides their decades old track record) is their streamlined financing process and the ability to finance everything I need.

Great info and advice Jordan! Thank you!

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Jayden, please do some research before you post wrong info, to get the 1000 hrs ATP , you need to be a 4 year college graduate with a degree in aviation from an approved university. I live in Indianapolis and visited Lidt Academy a couple of times, seems like a decent school.