Stratus Financial

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Student Loans – What You Need To Know

The dream of becoming a pilot is an exciting one. But it can also seem out of reach, especially if you’re not sure how to finance your education. That’s where Stratus comes in. We want to educate you on the different financing options available to you, so you can make the best decision for your future. Aviation training can be expensive, but there are many private student loan options available to help make your dream a reality!


How much do pilots make?

Pilots who want to get ahead in their careers should consider becoming airline pilots. The median annual wage for airline pilots, copilots, and flight engineers is $160,970 while commercial pilots get an average of $93,300 as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in May 2020. However with severe shortages across all airliners today and immediate hiring needs – NOW may not be too late!

Flight training options: Save and Pay As You Go or Student Loans?

There are a few things to consider when deciding whether Save and Pay As You Go or Student Loans is better for flight training. The first is the cost of training. If you can afford to pay upfront, then Save and Pay As You Go may be the better option. However, if you need to finance your training, then Student Loans may be the better option. The second thing to consider is the time commitment. Flight training can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months.

The main question you have to answer right now is whether you will save and pay as you go, or if you will get student loans to achieve your dreams NOW. While there are no right answers, you can see that the average salary earned now, you will be able to afford your student loans through Stratus.


Glossary of Financial Terms for Pilot Financing

You know you want to be a pilot, but are not sure what all of the loan options are and how they really work? You aren’t alone! Below is an explanation of common terms used in financing that may help put your mind at ease when reviewing our packages.


  • APR or annual percentage rate is the amount of interest you’ll be charged for obtaining a loan. Think of APR as the mortgage interest rate you’re charged every year. It takes into account many factors, including risk for the lender, market rates, and what they can get in return. The higher this number is – even if it’s not always within our control – the more expensive borrowing will be!
  • Interest Rate. The interest rate is the rate that is charged on your loan for the use of the money.
  • Loan Amount. This may include such fees as tuition, room and board, examination fees book expenses etc. The total amount you are borrowing to pay for your school is what’s referred to here.
  • Payment Amount. The payment amount is the amount of money you will pay monthly as part of your obligation to pay the lender for the monies they lent to you.

How Long Will It Take To Get An Aviation Job?

To become a commercial pilot, it will take about 12-18 months of training. Ask your local flight school for an estimate but most schools are immersive and can provide the necessary knowledge in that amount of time frame if they have enough students ready to go through with this process at once. Stratus purposefully structured its payments to consider this and make the obligations lighter on the front-end during hour building.


Can I Afford It?

You might be surprised to know that the median salary for airline pilots is an impressive $160,970. However, it’s not just those in aviation who are well paid; commercial pilots also make above-average wages at $93k per year! The projected monthly income of an airline pilot is $13,408.33 while that for commercial pilots comes out to around $7,775 dollars per month! You’ll need some financials on hand but once you’ve calculated how much your monthly payment will be then there should only remain one question left unanswered: can I afford this?


The downside to self-funding your career is that it can take 3-5 years before you have enough money for flight school. You’ll be able to save on student debt, but every day that passes means someone else gets ahead in terms of seniority and opportunities as a pilot too.


Bottom Line

The sooner you get your flight training done, the better. You’ll be able to start flying immediately and enjoy all those luxury airports with their beautiful scenery for years before they’re even open. Are you ready? We’re ready to partner with you and help you achieve your dreams. Let’s soar together!


Stratus Financial does not provide, and these materials are not meant to convey financial, tax, or legal advice. Stratus makes no claims about the accuracy or adequacy of this information. These materials may not reflect Stratus’ view or endorsement. Consult your own attorney or tax advisor about your specific circumstances. Reproduction without explicit permission is prohibited.

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