Real Answers from Real Pilots

Financing Trouble

hello there. I am 18 years old and an aspiring airline pilot. I’ve always wanted to join ATP Flight School because they have a really good reputation in training their pilots. and recently I sent in an application to Sallie mai to get a big loan to cover my flight training. keep in mind that my grandmother is helping me as a cosigner, and she has just above a 700 credit score. well long story short I got denied my application, and I don’t have another cosigner because their credits are horrible. I just don’t know what to do now. I really want to study with ATP but now that I got declined the loan, how will I be able to attend and pay for flight training. I just opened a credit card and currently work at a distribution center. once my loan gets approved “if it ever does” ill quit that job and dedicate full time to training. pls give advice. thank you. :frowning: is my only option to build credit from scratch myself and apply in a year or so?


Welcome to the forum. Financing difficulties are often one of the largest barriers that most students face. Have you talked with Kirk in the admissions department about any other options? If you are unable to qualify now, you will have to wait and build your credit over a few years time. Saving money (to lessen the loan amount) will also help in this situation. I realize this is not ideal, but if flying is something that you are really dedicated to, you will find a way to make it happen.



While I appreciate you’re somewhat discouraged but you really need to understand what’s going on here. You’re 18yo and have just applied for your first credit card and you’re asking Salie Mae to loan you $90,000 with ZERO security OR any idea that this grand plan of you been an airline pilot will pan out. Honestly can you blame them?

You should see this as an opportunity. First, if you want to me successful as an airline pilot you’re going to need a degree. Sign up for community college and start working on that. While you’re at build some credit, save some money and then IF this is still something you want to do you’ll be coming at it as not just someone with better credit, but someone in a better position to succeed as a pilot and be a little more mature which will help you with the rigors of the training.


Thank you for your replies. I guess I’m just gonna have to grind it out for years to come and hope to be ready by then. It sucks. Wish I could’ve gotten started now. Thank you once again for your replies.


I’m sure it’s of little consolation, but I didn’t start till I was 39 but I’m now a Capt for a Major airline. Reaching our goals is a process. It requires more than just desire. It takes time, hard work and patience. If this is truly what you want you’ll make it happen.


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Have you contacted Kirk in our finance department? He may have another option for you.

His direct line is 904-595-7946.


Hello, I forgot to say that I have been admitted to Embry riddle as a future student. the reason why I did not bring it up is because it cost 2 times as much as ATP. since I did not get approved for a private loan, would it be any different for a college/university? would I have more options? if so what would my new options be? would I have a better chance of attending at Embry riddle? I know that it will deliver a higher debt but I really want this career and I won’t let anything stop me. your replies are much appreciated.

I have called, and have been given the same reply. I need a creditworthy cosigner


I think these questions are best directed towards an Embry Riddle recruiter.