Our finance programs are designed for a part-time fixed-wing private pilot or instrument training. Under certain circumstances we are also able to accommodate advanced training, rotorcraft training, and sport pilot training.
Everything you need to know about flight training financing programs provided by Pilot Finance, Inc. and the application process is right here. We recommend taking a few minutes to review the FAQs before contacting Pilot Finance, Inc or starting an application.
Pilot Finance, Inc Flight
Training Program FAQs
You can finance commercial and advanced programs as long as the training fits within our program guidelines and you can afford the monthly payment amount. For more information, refer to minimum program sizes and typical program sizes later in these FAQs.If you need a succession of ratings, you should look ahead and be aware of how your payments could increase – and whether you will be able to qualify. While we welcome new business, we also strive to avoid transactions that appear likely to leave you “stuck” in your training cycle; a situation where more training is needed to achieve a commercial or career goal but you are financially unable to continue.
You can finance sport pilot programs as long as the training fits within our program guidelines. Sport pilot programs are often fewer hours than full private pilot programs. For more information, refer to minimum program sizes and typical program sizes later in these FAQs.
Pilot Finance programs are for part-time training with training schedules that average between 1-5 lessons per week. The maximum training schedule must be established in advance because the maximum repayment periods we can offer is determined by the agreed maximum (average) training schedule. Lessons missed because of weather, scheduling or other reasons can be “made up” later, but you may not accelerate your training beyond the agreed maximum (average) training schedule, measure cumulatively.Unfortunately, at this time our programs cannot accommodate accelerated training that involves more than 5 lessons per week. View the payment calculator to see how your training schedule affects your payment size.For purposes of our financing, individual flight lessons may average up to 2.0 hours of aircraft rental and up to 3.0 hours total instruction time.
The repayment terms are determined by the number of lessons per week, on average, you would like to take. Repayment terms range from 18 months for our most accelerated programs with 5 lessons per week, to 72 months for programs with only 1 lesson per week. Most of our customers use programs with 2-3 lessons per week and repay over 48-60 months. Please refer to our payment calculator to see how training schedules affect the size of your payments.
You can apply for “add-on” or “finish-up” training provided that 50% of the payments on your initial account are satisfactorily paid. To avoid running short of training funds, we strongly encourage students and schools to package training programs that will be fully sufficient to achieve the training goal. Please be aware that additional training will likely have to be paid from other resources. For most transactions, unused training funds cannot be forfeited, as explained in the next FAQ.
If funds are left over after training is completed, you have several options: 1)use the remaining funds to rent aircraft and build hours; 2) use the remaining funds to take additional training; or 3) elect to terminate your program and have the unused training funds credited to your Pilot Finance account to reduce your remaining monthly payments.PLEASE NOTE: All training funds may be fully earned, or used up, by the flight school in certain circumstances where they have guaranteed certification and/or committed to providing free “finish-up” training, if needed. Ask your flight school if you are concerned about his issue.
All Pilot Finance programs clearly state that you may terminate your training at any time for any reason! Your school and Pilot Finance warrant this right. Both of us guarantee a refund of any unused training funds at the time of your termination.The refund is credited to your Pilot Finance account balance. You will never have to pay for training services you did not receive! We are proud of the way our programs protect our students.This is a very important risk consideration for flight students. You should be careful of programs where the flight school controls a significant amount of the training funds exclusively, unless the financial institution guarantees that an immediate credit refund is available when a training program is terminated, regardless of the reason for termination.
The minimum program size for our standard repayment plans will include at least 45 hours of aircraft rental. We consider programs that include 25-45 hours of aircraft rental on an exception basis, but with shorter-than-normal repayment terms. Programs with fewer than 25 hours of aircraft rental cannot be approved for financing.
We consider “partial programs” that include 25-44 hours on an exception basis. Partial programs are not eligible for the full repayment terms that are offered for “full” programs of 45 or more hours of aircraft rental.The repayment terms for partial programs are determined on an individual basis, but generally range between 50%-90% of “full” repayment terms. If you are planning on applying for a partial program and would like a monthly payment estimate, please call us at (800) 667-0201.
For the private pilot and instrument programs we finance, a typical “full” training program includes between 55-65 hours of aircraft rental.Because financing “add-on” or “finish-up” training will likely not be available, it is important that your program size be fully sufficient, in the best judgment of you and the school, to achieve your training goal.
Pilot Finance does not have a maximum program size limit. The maximum financed program is determined by your training goals, training schedule, demonstrated payment history, and of course your ability to pay the monthly payments.
Our contract interest rates range from 12%-18% depending on your qualifications. Generally, the interest rate will be somewhat lower than you might pay on traditional credit card accounts. The next FAQ explains how every student can obtain lower interest rates with our Preferred Customer Interest Refund Program.
Our Preferred Customer Interest Refund Program is a simple way for you to earn back up to 25% of your interest. If you make all of your payments on time, the interest will be recalculated 3 percentage points lower than your contract rate and we will refund you the difference. Your effective interest rates charged will then work out to between 9%-15%.
No. There is no prepayment penalty. You will be refunded any unearned interest for paying off your account early. Interest rebates, or refunds, for early payment in full (referred to as “prepayment”) is determined by the finance regulations in your state. The calculation varies slightly from state to state.
A: While the national dropout rates, as provided by the FAA, are consistently around 70%, students that finance their training with Pilot Finance, have a dropout rate of 8-12%. There may be many reasons why our customers are so much more likely to achieve their training than those who utilize the buy-a-lesson-at-a-time methods. We think it is related to how:
- Students and schools sit down and commit to the entire program from the beginning instead of merely starting training and “seeing how it goes”; and
- Students do not have money worries about finishing their training as the money is all set aside and available.
Inc. Application FAQs
This is the first question that most students want answered. Generally we can approve most applications, unless:
- There is no credit history or extremely limited credit history (a co-borrower will be necessary); or
- There are outstanding delinquencies or collections; or
- There is a lack of sufficient income to pay the scheduled monthly payments.
When we are looking at an application, your credit score is one of those things we look at, but not the only one. The score by itself can be deceiving. We are interested in the duration and type of credit in your history, as shown in your credit report, related to the amount and type of financing you need (unsecured).
We want to see that you can “easily afford” the monthly payment. You should have sufficient income to pay your current living expenses as well as the monthly payment for your flight training. While we welcome new business, we do not want to overburden you financially.
Flight training financing is not secured like car financing or home mortgages. You pay us back because you have promised to. If you have gone through financial difficulties but have since resolved these issues, we see that as a very good thing. However, if you have unresolved delinquencies or defaults, or seem overburdened with debt, it is unlikely we will approve your application.
Yes! Our application provides a blank section where a Co-Borrower can submit their information. Adding a Co-Borrower can only help the strength of your application.Normally a Co-Borrower is a close relative, such as a spouse or a parent. Non-related Co-Borrowers can be considered in some circumstances. If the Co-Borrower is not related to you, it is best to offer comments regarding your relationship and the reasons why the Co-Borrower wishes to be a party to the transaction. Legally, you and the Co-Borrower have the same responsibility for making the payments.
We will respond to your application within 24 business hours.
- If you apply online, we will mail you a response within 24 business hours.
- If you submit your application through a flight school, the school will receive our response via fax within 24 business hours.
- If you send us an application directly we will respond to you in writing by US Mail within 24 business hours.
If you are eager to hear our response, wait 24 business hours after the time we will have received your application and then call us at (800) 667-0201.
If you have received a Conditional Approval, the next step is to sit down with an enrolled flight school and price out your training program. This is done on a fill-in-the-blanks form called a Prepaid Flight Training Agreement. You and your flight school will sign the form. By signing the form, you agree to purchase the training program and your flight school agrees to sell it to you at the prices and terms stated.Once your program is priced and ready to go, the pilot training school will fax it over to us. We will prepare your finance contract and send it to the flight school via express delivery. You can expect it to arrive there within 1-3 business days.The school will contact you when your contract has arrived. Just stop by to sign it and you will be ready to begin your training! The flight school will provide you with a copy of your transaction documents for your records, including your Preferred Customer Interest Refund Certificate.
There are several things you can do that will give you the best possible chance of being approved. Remember, we want to approve your application!
- Fill out your application as completely as possible.
- If you have income from multiple sources, be sure to disclose it.
- If there is anything you’d like us to consider or be aware of when looking at your application, be sure to let us know in the “Optional Information” section.
How to Apply
There are 4 ways to apply for pilot and flight training financing!
1. Apply at your flight school
Enrolled flight schools, such as HeliStream, have personalized applications on hand for you to fill out. If you submit an application through a flight school, we will respond within 1 business day directly to the flight school. This is generally the fastest way to get you in the air!
2. View/Print Application Package
If you would prefer to print the application along with additional information about our finance programs, you can access our Flight Student Information Package right here. After you have filled out the application, you can submit it via fax to (847) 267-1800 or scan and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org for the quickest response. Or, you can send it to us via U.S. mail if you do not have access to a fax machine or a scanner.
We will issue a response to you via U.S. mail within 1 business day. You can call us 24 business hours after we receive your application to inquire about the status.
The Application Form
Complete the application form as fully as possible. Sign the form at the bottom of page 1. Optional co-borrower information and comments you provide on page 2 can make your application stronger.
Available at any Enrolled flight school, the brochure describes how our programs work. Check the table and payment examples to make sure our programs will work for the training you need.
See how you can save up to 25% of all interest charges just by making your payments on time! Every Pilot Finance customer receives a Preferred Customer Interest Refund Certificate.
Credit Card Considerations
Straight talk about the advantages and disadvantages of paying for some types of flight training with a credit card. This information will help you evaluate your options and make the best decisions.
The 3-Reasons Brochure
We want you to become a pilot! We also want to make sure your expectations are realistic. This brochure tells the story of why some flight students fail to achieve their training goal.
3. Request an application
If you prefer to fill in a physical copy of the application but do not have access to a printer, we would be happy to mail you a copy of the Flight Student Application Package!