Flying with Student Loans

Just a quick question. I got approved for a loan that will get me through my CPL and multi/ifr program in 4 months. Basically, I can be a perfectly certified pilot by February. I have heard different stories from lawyers and doctors who had student loans and paid them back with no problem. Very little from pilots though (it seems that most pilots have doctors or lawyers for parents hehe)
My question is, if you have or had been in the situation of flying and paying back loans, A) if you had another chance would you just say 'screw it', these loans weren't worth it or B) It doesn't matter because now things may be bad but in 20 years who knows how far aviation will take me.
I am on my 2nd career, first was teaching for 10 years, and now I am able to make the leap, but want to make it cautiously and hear others opinions.
Thanks all!
 

PGT

Well-Known Member
If your monthly payment will be 500-700 then no way are you going to survive, I wouldn't think that 200-300 would be bad.
 

v1valarob

Well-Known Member
Just an FYI, while Colgan is on the lower end of the pay scale for 1st year FO. If I am under guarantee and no perdiem (Which happens pretty often with Colgan) my bi-weekly paycheck is $659. Minus $50 for uniform, thats $600. I am struggling. I had to pick up second job to start paying off bills.
 

skinswin34

Well-Known Member
Just an FYI, while Colgan is on the lower end of the pay scale for 1st year FO. If I am under guarantee and no perdiem (Which happens pretty often with Colgan) my bi-weekly paycheck is $659. Minus $50 for uniform, thats $600. I am struggling. I had to pick up second job to start paying off bills.

what he said...!
If you have a better opportunity right now take it. And a "better" opportunity is a rather low bar right now.
 

wheelsup

Well-Known Member
Doctors and (especially) lawyers make much more money outside of college these days. As a pilot hitting the job market in February of 2009 it's going to look pretty bleak. To put it in perspective when I hit the job market in a similar economy (actually better) my yearly income was around $15,000 for the first 2 years...then $27k for 2 years, ,then finally broke $40k (barely) after a few years at a regional. Have you researched what pilots make?
 

bluelake

Well-Known Member
I was also a career changer. I paid-as-I-went with the part 61 FBO route, and I also took out a Sallie Mae loan for about $19,000 to cover the heaviest bills. That 19G probably represents about half of all my training costs all together, so you could say i financed half of it. The loan was tied closely to the prime rate (my credit was good) so the interest rate since 2002 has been between 5-9%, or somewhere in that range. My monthly payment is $233. not too burdensome and i am sure its competitive with the monthly payment for lots of pilots toys like the crotch-cycles i have seen CFI's park next to the FBO door.

One way i look at it is right now, it requires about 7 hrs of flying per month to service that debt. Depending on my various flying jobs so far, that number has ranged between 11 and 6 hours per month. For me and my timing with jobs, it was and is a worthwhile decision.

and not to get sidetracked, but i should point out that five years of good payments on this installment loan has helped my FICO credit score immensely. If your scratching your head at the term FICO, you need to visit myfico.com pretty much before you do anything else.
 

jtrain609

Anarcho-Bidenist
Let me see if I can break this down for you:

You want to take out a loan for what? $60,000? Maybe $80,000?

You'll have a loan payment between $500 and $1,000 a month and you could well make less than $1,000 as a flight instructor?

Simply put, the math doesn't work out.

And let's say that you are able to get a job at the freight company or regional airline of your choice in a year or two.

What happens when you eat a taxiway light and get fired in this kind of economy? What happens when you get furloughed like I dld?

Four words.

Pay.

As.

You.

Go.

Take it from a guy on the street right now.
 
Thanks for all the replies. I have a degree in international relations and 10 years as a teacher in private schools. You only get paid 15 bucks an hour for a MAXIMUM of 5 hours a day.
Basically, without flying, I have no future at all. I can't get on the police because wear glasses with vision outside police standards. It's ok for pilot standards because no on foot chases will make me lose my glasses.
I can't get a government job (I'm in Canada by the way), even with the city, because those are snapped up before I can move my head.
Teachers college to be a certified teacher costs as much as a CPL and multi/IFR anyways.
I was 'furloughed' in a sense from my last private academy because of declining enrollment.
I got a potential lead from an investment bank, but if I do give back the loan and do that, and then lose the investment bank job, I can't get the loan back and then I have 0 options.
As a pilot, you can work in any country in the world, not just Canada and the US.
Sometimes I think it's not where I want to be now, but where I want to be when I'm 50. I think when we see the old gray haired 747 captain, chances are he faced tougher job markets and worse but ended up at the top.
In my opinion piloting is the ultimate profession. Even where I work now, we have a girl going to law school. Everyone just says 'oh, interesting'. Then they ask me 'what are you studying?' and I reply 'piloting', and everyone's head turns in surprise. Because it has such responsibility and prestige, most people think you are a cut above the rest.
In my opinion, even if you are furloughed, think about all the safe landings and takeoffs you have made and the countless number of people who arrived safely because of you.
 

TallFlyer

Well-Known Member
In my opinion, even if you are furloughed, think about all the safe landings and takeoffs you have made and the countless number of people who arrived safely because of you.
And as all of us who've been around around a while know, that will pay the bills right there.......










































:sarcasm:
 

BajtheJino

I'm looking at you.
Ah, yes. The never ending question of Student Loans. I got them. I finished my ratings in a hurry. Got a good paying CFI gig-yes they are out there. Then did the entry level freight and now fly for a 121 (making a lot less than I did!). I can pay my bills with no problem. It's called making a budget and living within your means. There are so many different aviation jobs out there today you never know what you're going to find. Certain fields of aviation are growing...
If you want to fly, can't afford it and you're only options are loans think about it. If you're mature enough to handle it and don't weep and cry every time your friends go out to drink and you can't afford it and stay home instead to watch whatever your tv antennae can pick up and eat nothing but rice go for it. I'm not sorry I did. Not to mention with my Key loans I didn't have to make a payment for 2.5 years. With the scratch I'll be making in two years I will be able to pay off early.
 

joliet

New Member
Think about how much that $30,000 will be with interest!

Think about how much that $80,000 will be with interest...... in 15 years.

Yikes!
 

surreal1221

Well-Known Member
I just shake my head.

Anything larger than >20k for flight training is outrageous in my mind - at least today. I might have said differently 3-5, or more years ago.

I enjoy living and doing things with my wife, family, and friends. I'd hate to have a damn $700 loan payment. As, compared to my current loan payment. . .that's over $500 that I could be spending on countless other products, or investing, or saving for the future.

But hey - whatever. I blame youthful exuberance for someone making the irrational thought to take out a huge ass loan, for a job that pays extremely little, and which the life time earning potential is seeing some significant downward pressure.

Take out a modest loan (</= 20k) if you need to, at 15 year repayment the payments shouldn't be more than 250 a month. Easily manageable with two paychecks.

If one insists on taking out the huge loan, then well. . .when they can't feed themselves, pay their car payment, pay rent and utilities, I'm not going to be shedding a tear for them. They're the same class of people who signed off on outrageous mortgages knowing full well that they wouldn't be able to pay in 5 years and still went through with it and are now watching their house foreclosed on. Unfortunately, loan companies can't come and snag your certificates.
 

Trip7

Well-Known Member
I have 80k total in loans and will have no problems "surviving" on 2nd year pay. Of course I deferred all but a few of the payments til probation is over:D
 

surreal1221

Well-Known Member
Part of that 80k though is an actual education - a degree.

80k for ONLY flight training on the other hand. . .:banghead:
 

PGT

Well-Known Member
I have 80k total in loans and will have no problems "surviving" on 2nd year pay. Of course I deferred all but a few of the payments til probation is over:D
Jesus Marcus, shouldn't have gone to DBQ:)

After this year (my junior year) I will be in debt ~15k and have my commercial sel with 3 years of school.
 

Trip7

Well-Known Member
Jesus Marcus, shouldn't have gone to DBQ:)

After this year (my junior year) I will be in debt ~15k and have my commercial sel with 3 years of school.
Yeah 20k of that was because of one year at DBQ. Imagine if I had stayed there all 4 years!:eek:

Think about how much that $30,000 will be with interest!

Think about how much that $80,000 will be with interest...... in 15 years.

Yikes!
That's why you pay it off ASAP. Never make minimum payments
 

Flyvne

New Member
There are two kinds of debt: Good debt and bad debt.
Good debt is debt from an education. Bad debt is from your new TV or car.
As a pilot you will not get rich and have years of money problems. You will live in the area where only 75% of the murders takes place. You could end up on food stamps and ruin your credit. You may need to share a studio apartment with some one else and drink Colt 45. Life IS tough as a pilot. The one question you have to ask yourself is, Do you like flying more than money?

We have to remember why we became pilots........ to complain and talk bad about each other.:D
 
Top