I’m a firm believer that information is the key to financial freedom. On the Stilt Blog, I write about the complex topics — like finance, immigration, and technology — to help immigrants make the most of their lives in the U.S. Our content and brand have been featured in Forbes, TechCrunch, VentureBeat, and more.See all posts Frank Gogol
The Ultimate Guide to Loan for Pilot Training
At a Glance
- Training cost for pilots varies based on factors like aircraft type, school, and training hours.
- Components include airplane rental fees, instructional fees, and supplies/testing fees.
- Minimum required training hours for a pilot’s license is 40, with a cost of $6,200 plus $1,000 in fees.
- Flight school costs can reach up to $80,000, and financing options include federal student
loans, private loans, financing programs, and grants/scholarships.
Flight school is a costly and time-consuming endeavor, but one that can lead to excellent career opportunities in the future. The challenge many people face is finding the funding for pilot training, and this is especially true of immigrants and noncitizens.
Most pilot students use
- How Much Does Pilot’s School Cost
- How to Get Student Loans for Flight School in the U.S.
- Federal Student Loan Options for Flight School
- Private Student Loan for Flight School: Things to Know
- How to Get a Private Loan for Pilot Training with Stilt
- Other Financing and Payment Options for Flight School
- Getting Airborne has Never Been Easier
- Read More
How Much Does Pilot’s School Cost
The cost of pilot training will vary by the equipment you use, the school you attend, and the amount of training time you complete. These expenses can be broken down into a few sections:
- Airplane rental fees: the cost of renting an airplane ranges from $110 to $170, depending on the type of aircraft that you rent
- Hourly instructional fees: expect a cost in the range of $45-$55 an hour
- Supplies and testing fees: these will typically add up to $1,000 or more over the course of your training, and include items like a headset
Finally, the minimum required instructional hours for obtaining a pilot’s license is typically 40 hours, while the average pilot gets closer to 60 hours of instructional flight time. At the lower end of airplane rental costs, $110, and an hourly instructional fee of $45 an hour, this adds up to a minimum of $6,200, plus $1000 in supplies and testing fees.
How to Get Student
Loans for Flight School in the U.S.
Becoming a commercial pilot is much more costly than obtaining a private pilot’s license, and one year of flight school can easily cost as much as $80,000, compared to an average of $33,480 for one year at a four-year college. This expense is too much for most students to cover out-of-pocket, but there are multiple student loan options available. See the following sections for an idea of the loan options available to you.
Federal Student Loan Options for Flight School
Flight students don’t have the same access to federal student
Direct Subsidized Loans
Direct PLUS Loans
You should fill out the FAFSA and determine what federal student
Private Student Loan for Flight School: Things to Know
Even if you are attending an accredited flight school, federal student
Loans Work Differently than Federal Loans
Not Every Private Lender Offers Flight School
Flight schools are considered a trade school, and trade schools are often treated differently by lenders than four-year colleges. Some lenders offer
Download the Loan for Pilot Training Checklist
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Pros and Cons of Private
Whether or not a private loan is suitable for you depends on your financial circumstances and the type of loan that you have access to. There are positive and negative aspects to private
Qualifying for private
How to Get a Private Loan for Pilot Training with Stilt
Immigrants having difficulty finding
- Complete a loan application: This involves detailing the amount that you need for flight school, along with relevant financial and personal information. You will also be asked to authorize a soft credit-pull. If your loan meets the minimum requirements of eligibility, then you will qualify for a range of term lengths and an interest rate.
- Get a decision: Stilt will respond to your application within 24 hours. If your application is accepted, then you only need to sign a promissory note agreeing to the details of the loan and the funds will be transferred into your account.
- Start making payments: With the fund secured, you can start making monthly payments on your loan.
Other Financing and Payment Options for Flight School
If you still have gaps in funding your pilot training after federal and private
Look for Financing for Your Pilot Training
There are financing programs available to provide prospective pilots with the funds for flight school. These programs are typically offered by organizations like the American Airlines Federal Credit Union and AOPA Aviation Finance. Explore the financing programs offered by institutions like this, or local financial institutions in your state.
Speak with a Rep at Your School
Aviation schools also typically offer their own financing programs, which you should explore for funding. For instance, one of the top aviation schools in the country, Airline Transport Professionals, provide
Find Grants and Scholarships
Aviation students can also explore the numerous grants and scholarships offered for specifically for flight school. Sites like FlightScholarship.info provide a directory of the grants and scholarships available.
Look into Training Programs
There are also programs which provide end-to-end training, including job placement. These programs tend to be pricey, but they can boost your chances of getting employment and a higher salary upon graduation. One such program, offered by JetBlue, costs $125,000, and involves four years of training, at the end of which graduates can work as flight instructors themselves.
Getting Airborne has Never Been Easier
While the cost of flight school is substantial, the stable employment and exciting work make it worthwhile for many. Students may have access to federal