Need Advice on how to pay for Training


New Member
I am currently working full time, but at the rate I'm going it'll take me a decade to save up enough to pay for flight training. So I have two options:

1) take out a $40k loan, attend ATP, complete their program in 90 days and hunt for a CFI job, BUT be in massive debt.

2) go in the family business, fly weekends at ATP, not have to take out a loan, BUT complete their program in 8-9 months.

which is the better option? I know that in the current market, even CFI jobs are scarce, but ATP seems to be hiring their graduates and as long as I get a CFI job with them (or anywhere, really) I dont mind being in debt since I will have cut 5-6 months from my training timeline.

would appreciate opinions.
I would consider getting involved with the family business. If you ever get on with a regional etc. or even down the road the business may be a great way to supplement and/or produce the majority of your income. And if you end up hating flying the line, losing your medical, land on the wrong runway etc. you will have a back up.
Junebug: Why not get a Sallie Mae loan and fly three to four times at your local FBO and still work full time?

That's what I'm doing right now and it's working out great!

Good luck!

You might want to consider taking student loans if you are in school. Before I finished I took out a loan for close to 10k, all of which is under 5% interest. If you allready graduated then you may be able to still take a loan for the last two years of your education. Here's the page that will get you started, you might want to talk to your financial aid office as well.


Good Luck!
Thanks for the posts guys. I graduated in 2001, and still have a couple thousand in loans from that, so I dont want to take out another loan, but then again, I'm 23, not married, no kids or mortgages or car payment or any other financial or other obligation tying me down, so I feel like I could very well take out another loan and get away with it but only if theres a reasonably good chance that I'll have a CFI position after I'm done. If thats really not the case, then I'd rather pay my way through by working full time. What I really dont want is to complete my training, be 40k in debt and not have a job...

Farewell--I've avoided the family business like the plague since I was a wee lad. Guess I'll have to suck it up and dig in....the things you do to fly...

CMARTIN, have you received any assurances (for however little/much theyre worth) from anyone at Ari Ben that you will have a CFI gig waiting for you when you're done?

R2F, which FBO are you training at in Tampa? I'm in Ft. Myers, there is only one FBO here and they are quoting me $8k for a private. All the FBO's up and down the southwest coast fro Naples to Sarasota have not quoted less than $5, and thats for 50-60 hours in really old 152's. I'm thinking of commuting to JAX for ATP's weekend career program.
Here is my 2-cents. I am awaiting approval through sallie mae for my loan. I interviewed all of the local FBO's in my area (Memphis, TN) and the one I will be attending only hires CFI's that train with them. Kinda like guaranteed employment when Im finished training. Just a thought, Oh by the way I am 24, a newlywed, and no kids.
I'm with R2F. Work at the family business (as long as it's not the Corleone family or something) and get your private locally . Then you can consider going to an academy for the advanced ratings.

BTW don't forget about the college degree.
I might not be what want to hear but this is a no brainer. Work at your family business and learn to fly part time. When you get close to completing a rating take a week off and finish it. Don't rush to be in high debt and unemployed. The aviation job market sucks, so you have plenty of time to do your ratings and stay above the poverty line.
Ditto what everyone said.

Just my two cents, if you can avoid taking out a loan, by all means, avoid doing so like the plague.

Most entry level jobs, if you can even find one in this market, are very low paid. Meanwhile, the loan is accruing interest.

As you work your way up, some of your minimum income requirements changes (marriage, kids, house, etc) and the debt from the loan is continuing to accumulate.
You could also do what i am going to do. I am attending Ohio State University's aviation program this winter. Their lab fees to complete the aircraft systems (pilot track program) are around $32,000 not counting your educational fees. It is steep but i will have all the certificates to flight instruct and enough hours when i graduate for my ATP. They also have internships that you can take for up to 1.5 years. Depending what your need is the financial aid dept. can get you loans to cover it. I asked them about how to pay and they said I just need to fill out a form stating that I have a greater financial need. I will also still have additional money allotted to me for purchasing text books. Also did you file your fafsa?
Hey Athena,

Are You already at Ohio State? I am going into my third year there and am training at a part 61 at Don Scott.

I'm almost in the same here's what I'm doing/did. I'm back in the family biz (which I sweared a long time ago I would never go back to) earning my living, and I stayed in my home city to get my PPL, IR and build a few hours. During that time, everything I'm doing (with my money, my house, etc.) is geared around getting ready to go to one of the academies for the rest of my ratings.

Sometimes it's not fun not going out for weeks at a time to save moolah...but it's what's gotta be done. When the time comes and you decide if you want to keep going with your training, you'll be ready.

Good luck...