The Poor House !?!

Cruise

Well-Known Member
As we are all well aware of....FLIGHT TRAINING IS EXPENSIVE .....

My question is this: Can a pilot in the regionals afford to pay-back the extensive amount of money borrowed for training?


Now, I realize there are many variables that should be included and don't expect everyone's situation to be the same. I'm not looking to live the high lifestyle.....just don't want to eat ramen noodles for the next 15 years.

I'm curious to hear how things are going for pilots who are working (flying) now and in repayment.


Do you "see light at the end of the tunnel?"

Are you able to meet all your living expenses without requiring food stamps?

Can you afford to occasionally treat yourself to a night at the movies?

Ok, you get the point........I'd appriciate hearing your experiences!


I have a considerable amount of debt....from undergrad, grad. school, and flight training......will it put me in the poor house?

I've recently rolled all education loans into one.....I am still in the flight training phase and don't expect to enter repayment for a little while.

Thanks in advance for everyone's input.....I'm sure I'm not alone in this department.
 

SteveC

Really?
Staff member
Excellent questions. It'll be interesting to hear what the guys that are really at that point say, not just what everyone else (me included) think the answers are.
I'll be the first to not voice my opinion, and wait for responses from the guys that are living in that stage.
 

DaPaul

New Member
I'm in the same situation. But who cares. I get to fly jets!!! And one day it'll pay well. I think its safe to say that all pilots pay their dues before going on to big iron and big paychecks.
 

SteveC

Really?
Staff member
[ QUOTE ]
I'm in the same situation. But who cares. I get to fly jets!!! And one day it'll pay well. I think its safe to say that all pilots pay their dues before going on to big iron and big paychecks.

[/ QUOTE ]
But how are things going at this point? (If you're comfortable sharing)
Questions asked above:[ QUOTE ]
I'm curious to hear how things are going for pilots who are working (flying) now and in repayment.
Do you "see light at the end of the tunnel?"
Are you able to meet all your living expenses without requiring food stamps?
Can you afford to occasionally treat yourself to a night at the movies?
Ok, you get the point........I'd appriciate hearing your experiences!


[/ QUOTE ]
 

IrishSheepdog

Sitting in the median
Well for me, I'm managing ok. But realize I only have $17,000 in school loans (flight training included in that), a $15,000 car loan, and I'm not paying rent since I live at home. So making my bills for my cell phone, car, insurance, etc. isn't too bad. Now if I had an apartment for $500-800 a month, utilities, etc., I'd probably be racking up some debt on credit cards. As it is now, I don't even have any credit cards (yet), and I'm still making it ok. There are some things that I have though which I could give up to help with rent, utilities, etc., such as my 401(k) payments, savings deposits, life insurance (I'm single, no dependents!), and so on.

I think if I had to move out, I'd look for a cheap place, with a few roommates, that has utilities included. My rent at my last apartment was $350 a month with utilities included, a gym (no gym fees at Golds or anything), free parking, and so on. I'd probably hold off on my 401(k) feed until I made second year FO pay, and possibly hold off on life insurance period until I was married (although I want to hold off on that until I upgrade).

It's possible, although will be stressful for you. But if you are prepared for the challenge, and plan ahead, you can make it. Plenty of regional pilots are making it now, so it has to be doable to a point. Just live within your means.
 

Fearless

Dash Dominatrix
O.K., I'll bite. I'm currently starting my fourth year at a well-known regional airline. Due to the downturn in the airline industry, upgrades are slow... very slow. I don't expect to make left seat for several years.

If I could give aspiring professional pilots one bit of financial advice, it would be this: Keep your debt to an absolute minimum. Get your degree in a field where you can get a job, and work your way through flight school. In the event you don't make it to the airlines or get furloughed, you'll have some work experience and a degree you can fall back on.

As a third-year F/O, the pay isn't too bad (enough to live on) - approximately $30,000 a year. Since I live in a city where the cost of living is high, this still calls for careful money management. I can afford small luxuries such as movies and a health club membership. I don't eat out much. My "big ticket" items (clothes, furniture, household goods) come from the second-hand store.

I don't have any school loans - I did the "work and fly" program outlined above. However, my $430-a-month car payments are a severe strain on my budget. I can't imagine paying off college or flight training loans on what I currently make. And YES, our new-hire FO's and flight attendants do qualify for food stamps.

Flying is a great career, provided you understand the realities of the job and the sacrifices that you'll make getting there. The "cool" factor of flying a nice jet can wear off pretty quick, so make sure you're going into flying for the right reasons.

Good luck,
FFFI
 

Mr_Creepy

Well-Known Member
The first three years were entirely on Visa.

It wasn't until I was a 1900 captain for a year that I actually started to make headway on the debt.

You will learn to live cheaper. You'll find out places you get free (or cheap) food. The flight attendants know, so follow them on overnights!

The big expense for new hires is related to commuting. Very few airlines actually put you where you live your first few years.

I had to commute to Puerto Rico for 18 months. Yeah the travel was dirt cheap (about $9 a trip) but my share of the crashpad was $400 a month, in addition to my mortgage in Orlando.

Even after moving to Mesa, it took a year to get based in Orlando (the largest crew base at the time.)

Count on crashpad and eating expenses for a while, unless you are going to pull up stakes and move every time you go to a new base.

Bases change rapidly in the Airline industry.
 

Cruise

Well-Known Member
These replies are great......

Any and all insight from those who are already experiencing the "economic hardships" are wonderful.

Thanks to those who have responded and hopefully more will provide their unique insight as well. The greater number of situations/ experiences provided, the better able we current students can paint the picture for the next 5 - 8 years.

Thanks again, and keep 'em coming!
 

CAVOK

New Member
[ QUOTE ]
The greater number of situations/ experiences provided, the better able we current students can paint the picture for the next 5 - 8 years.



[/ QUOTE ]


5-8 years would be nice....I'm looking at a good 20 (as it stands right now, on my CFI/Begger wages).
 
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