Real Answers from Real Pilots

Loan Advice

(Brian Doherty) #23

Good morning,

Has anybody ever gotten approved without a co-signer ?

(Sergey Kireyev) #24

Hey, Brian—
I am applying without a co-signer myself with an established credit and income history. I’ll try to keep you posted on how the process runs


(Nicole Hawkins) #25

Only with Sallie Mae, and I only tried with half of the amount, due to interest rates and out of curiosity.

(Brian Doherty) #26

Thanks Sergey,
I have my doubts that SM would finance 100% unsecured but I was wondering if putting down 30-50% would help. I’m no spring chicken so my timeline and ROI makes this high stakes.

(Brian Doherty) #27

Thanks Nicole . I was thinking the same thing. I was in chatting with a few pilots at the local FBO . He was leaning towards modular . The local commuter is desperate for pilots and will take you on right seat at 200 hours. Lousy pay but good to build hours . That being said I’m not feeling that good regionals will hire modulars as the trend seems to be to pull from feeder schools like ATP etc…



While I’m not a fan piecing together training as it’s expensive and inefficient the fact is the Regionals need pilots. If you have the licenses, ratings, time and a clean record you will get hired, even if Dad trained you in the family Cub. I’ve been at Hawaiian 5 years and I get an invite a month from a different Regional. Apparently they’re down to checking the FAA database for pilots.


(Brian Doherty) #29

Thanks Adam. I’m not a big fan either due to the added timeline . This whole decision is only a possibility because of the projected demand by the regionals and the hope that it lasts at least another 3-5yrs.

Congrats on your promotion btw.



Thanks. I understand, I’m just saying in this environment it’s not a concern.


(Sergey Kireyev) #31

I spoke to Kirk with ATP Finance Office. He touched upon the loan matters for older students (I’m 38). What we may lack in top career earning potential, we make up in established work history. The bank are more interested in what would happen if you have to stop in the middle of your program. How will you repay the accrued loan amount? Do you have a career fallback do pay that amount back? So, if you have a good credit history and work history you’re far better off than some of the “spring chickens”.
In our life, anything can happen… I accept that as a risk/reward situation. If a health situation pops up early into my flying career, I have a back up plan. I knew of a student that this happened to shortly after getting his CFII. Life happens. That’s why I’m not jumping ship yet with my current job—to leave on best terms with them and have a chance to come back if worst comes to worse.

So, for me, just like you, I take all precautions like getting a medical records check and a “mock” physical by a local AMA, check my savings/collateral, etc. Then, when I make the “go/no-go” decision I at least know what I am doing if I have to abort my training.

(Robert Stratford) #32

Sergey (and anyone else),
I see you mention a “mock” physical–I was wondering about something similar since I’m currently in the planning phase but am potentially a year out from changing careers and starting ATP.

At this point (and for the better part of this last year) I’ve been doing as much research and advance planning as I can to see what steps would be required to make the career change (I’m a lawyer with a wife and 3 kids, currently living in Hong Kong, so it would require several major changes over the next year, some of them well in advance of an ATP start date, including hopefully moving back to the US with my firm). With major steps needing to be taken it makes sense to make sure I could hold a first class medical before I reach the point of no return and uproot everything.

Since the medical certificate is only good for a year I’d prefer not to have to get it this early only to have to get another one in a year’s time when/if I start ATP, so I was wondering if there’s some sort of unofficial sign off from an AME without actually getting the certificate at this stage?

Obviously it’s not a big deal to get the actual certificate a year early if it comes to that–a small price to pay to know that it’s a path I can pursue and make the subsequent changes this coming year–I was just wondering if there were alternatives. If you or anyone else has experience with this I’d love to hear it.



With all due respect, you guys are over thinking this. Getting a first class medical is the only way to truly tell if you are able to obtain the same. It doesn’t cost that much to get one and the process is not very in-depth. I would even be willing to bet that it is possible to obtain one in Hong Kong. Asking for a “practice medical” is only going to confuse a doctor, not really save you any money, and will not submit your information to the FAA, who truly determines medical eligibility. Just bit the bullet and get one, even if it is a year early.

(Robert Stratford) #34

Thanks Chris, I figured as much (and yes, there are AMEs in HK from what I’ve seen on the database search). Definitely not a big deal to get it a year early-- especially when it’s a gating item for such big decisions. That’s my next step.

(Sergey Kireyev) #35

Well, despite my current income/savings, etc. SLMA didn’t want to approve without a co-signer. So I am going to look at other options at this time.


It is very common for the banks to require a co-signer, I had to have one.

(Sergey Kireyev) #37

I understand that requirement. A bit tougher for me as a first generation immigrant :slight_smile:

I am going to reach out and see what they would be willing to loan unsecured first and see if I can get a private loan to cover the difference. If not, I may have to wait and save… Sometimes it’s just a test of testicular fortitude—how bad do you want it?

(Moustafa) #38

Lmao man! I never thought I would laugh on a site like this, but you got me.

(Brian Doherty) #39

Thanks for the update Sergey. And thank you Chris for the reality check. I am also first gen immigrant ( Irish) and so have to be practical. Nicole’s option may be relevant if we have savings or co-signer. I’ll check it out . My cousin is left seat Emirates Dubai. 777 but he went in early via legacy after a furlough. I’m on a different track and older than most so long shot for sure. If can fund then will look at next step after getting a medical . I have a super supportive wife and the kids are on their way In college so might be my second shot.

(Jared Latimer) #40

It might have been Kirk, that recommended I do a similar plan as yours…I got approved for 50% from Sallie Mae, wait 30 days, and then apply for the 2nd half from Sallie Mae. I’m still waiting for 30 days to pass.
@underthatwing Did that work for you? I have 10 more days until I can apply for the 2nd Half. Did you have to accept the 1st half and sign all the documents prior to apply for the 2nd or did you just sign it all once you got approved for the 2nd with Sallie Mae?

(Nicole Hawkins) #41

Yes it worked for me! Also, once we get rolling we can refinance it through a company called credible, apparently they’ve knocked a few peoples loans and interests down by 50%.
I actually waited until a month before I started to sign both loans. I just kept going back and viewing it a couple times a month to keep the loan acceptance active, otherwise after 30’days it goes away. Once I figured I couldn’t get accepted anywhere else I signed my documents.

(Jared Latimer) #42

It worked for me as well. 2x Sallie Mae loans and starting in July.