Financing beyond the school costs

Hi all,

I’m just starting to look into flight school, but am in the category of I’ve been working a career for the last 10 years and am looking to make the switch. I have a mortgage, wife, and 4 kids, and that is my biggest worry. For those who have made this similar switch, what did you do for paying normal bills, mortgage, groceries, etc…, while in flight school? That is my biggest hurdle right now.

I have great credit, so I’m not worried about getting the financing for the school itself, just need ideas on how to pay for life alongside it! Any thoughts and input would be great!

Jeff,

I (and many people with responsibilities) took out additional funds on my loan to cover living expenses during the length of my training. That and dipping into some savings while tightening the belt made it doable.

Adam

Jeff,

You can take out additional loans to help cover your expenses, but there is a limit to it. Your other option is simply to reduce your expenses, or get your wife to contribute more somehow.

Just to be sure, are you and your family fully prepared for the time commitment that is involved in flight training instructing, and being new at an airline?

Chris

Thanks Adam. We are accustomed to tightening the belt, just a little low on savings right now, so trying to figure out where to find the living expenses. I’ll look into increasing loans. Thanks!

Jeff

Hi Chris,

Thanks for the reply. I’ll look into increasing loans.

I’m actually in the military and have been deployed, so time commitment is one of the things that we are accustomed to! That, and being the new guy has never been an issue to me, I see it as the opportunity to learn from those more experienced.

Jeff

Jeff,
As an added side note, your GI Bill can pay for your examiner fees for checkrides BUT that money is reimbursed to you so you should probably schedule those fees into your loan calculations as well.
-Steve

Jeff,

I suggest meeting with a financial advisor or planning expert regarding the finances. Granted the additional increase in loans and your G.I. Bill being able to reimburse your checkride fees, you will want to factor everything in. While the financial risk of attending ATP may seem like a bear, yours is more of having a strategical plan and a “what if,” included.

Brady

Jeff,

I set aside a good chunk of savings to help supplement my living costs before quitting my job. Things were still tight but it got me through using a strict budget until some fresh income flowed back in as a CFI. Nowadays you can add an additional
$2000 a month stipend to the cost of your loan. Another great option…

Hannah

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Thanks Hannah. I’ve already started setting aside some money, but with 4 kids, that can take a while! At least to get to the point where we can keep things going, however tight, while I do flight school.

Don’t I know it. I stopped putting a bunch into a 401k. And we are hosting foreign school kids in our spare rooms (basically the same as my wife getting a part time job but not needing to pay for childcare). Eventually she’ll have to get it that she can’t buy the “organic” stuff all the time, haha.

I’m also in a similar situation (wife & 3 kids). I’m taking out additional funding (bills have to be paid). Also looking into Door Dash and found some AI Auditing that pays pretty well. When I was a youngster, I did Valet at DFW Airport that paid pretty decent and was very flexible (you could work as much or little as you wanted). I’m also trying to get all of my written exams done prior to starting flight school, need to fly as much as possible.

Landon,

If you’re planning on training with ATP know that ANY job (regardless of flexibility) is highly discouraged. The program is accelerated and even those who 100% dedicate all their time find it challenging.

While no one can stop you, know that should you fall behind or busy one too many checkride you’ll be out and there will be no “I didn’t know, I thought it would be alright, bla bla bla”. $100k+ is alot of money to gamble with.

Adam

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Landon,

While you seem driven to go become an airline pilot, do you have prior flight experience?

The other thing about the extra finances and taking a loan, I would say that pay rates are at an all-time high, and while we see articles such as “pilot shortage” and “pilot hiring to slow down,” no one can tell what the future holds, but there’s always a good chance a mass hiring will resume. Retirement age is still 65 and airlines have a lot of older pilots who will be forced to retire, which they’ll need to replace with new hires and upgrades. I recommend looking at some of ATP’s partners and seeing if you could take advantage of cadet programs as well. Benefits and tuition reimbursement, what’s better?

Brady