Stratus Financial

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student pilot loans
student pilot loans

Student Pilot Financial Basics: Start Here to Understand Financing Your Student Pilot Loans

Student Financing Education

You have dreams of becoming a pilot, but can you afford it? How do you know? Stratus wants to educate you on what your options are, what your future holds, and what financing your education means to you.


How much do pilots make?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for airline pilots, copilots, and flight engineers was $160,970 in May 2020. The median annual wage for commercial pilots was $93,300 in May 2020. (See Airline and Commercial Pilots : Occupational Outlook Handbook: : U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (bls.gov)). As you probably know, as of 2022, there are severe pilot shortages with all airlines, and they need pilots NOW.

Save And Pay for Flight Training As You Go or Student Loans Now?

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 you’re just unsure of what all of the loan options are and what they really mean to you. Below is a short glossary of common terms used in the financing industry that may assist you in evaluating our loan packages.

  • APR – APR stands for annual percentage rate. An annual percentage rate is expressed as an interest rate and as the rate you are charged on obtaining a loan. And APR takes into account many factors, including the risk the lender takes on you, the market rates, and other factors that may or may not be within your or Stratus’ control.
  • Interest Rate. The interest rate is the rate that is charged on your loan for the use of the money.
  • Loan Amount. the loan amount is the total amount you are borrowing to pay for your school. This may include such fees as tuition, room and board, examination fees, book fees, and other fees that your school has identified that you need to cover.
  • 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 These Jobs Anyway?

Ask your flight school to give you an estimate, but most schools take 12-18 months from zero to Commercial/CFI. 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 know the median salary for an airline pilot is $160,970 above and $93,300 for a commercial pilot. The payments of your loan will depend on you and your overall financial picture. To project your future monthly income, take the above and divide by 12 ($13,408.33 for airline pilots and $7,775 for commercial pilots). Then when you get your loan quote, see if you can afford it from there.

If you self-fund, it may take you 3-5 years to save up enough money to pay for flight school. The benefit of that is you won’t have any student debt. The downside is that every day that passes means some other career pilot is in front of you for seniority which may affect the (1) routes you fly, (2) schedules you get, and (3) raises you get.

Bottom Line

The bottom line is that the sooner you get your flight training done, the sooner you achieve your aviation dreams, and the sooner you get paid to fly. Are you ready? We’re ready to partner with you and help you achieve your dreams. Let’s soar together!

Stratus 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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