First time USER here! Finance/school question

Evening all. I’m a 29 year old man living in Houston, TX with my fiancée and our two year old son. I am also a police officer that works evenings from 2-10pm (Monday thru Friday). I joined the force to help others in my community, but now I think is the time to finally help myself and achieve my ultimate dream. Couple questions:

  1. The program is quite costly, what has been anyone’s experience having to pay the loan back? How much of a struggle has it been? This is what concerns me most as I fear being in a lifetime of debt.

  2. Seeing as I work Mon-Fri (2-10pm) would the training be “doable” on my schedule?

  3. Off topic (sorry) but how much does being a pilot truly keep you away from home? Having a family this does cross my mind ever so often.

If any of these questions have already been answered please direct me to the right page! Thank you all for your help.


Please visit the FAQ section as all of your questions can and have been answered there.



  1. I’m on track to pay off my loan in the next 5 years. That will have been a total of 10 years to pay it off. I’m not going to lie it’s very hard in the beginning even with Tuition Reimbursement and signing bonuses. I’m still living off of the same budget when so was a first officer. Finances are still tight, but I’ve been able to make larger payments on the loan. For reference, I’m now a captain at a regional, living south of Seattle.

  2. Not at ATP.

  3. We post our schedules on the forum:


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That’s great to hear that you’ll be able to pay off your loan soon. I know that it will probably feel like a big burden lifted off of your chest. One question for you though. How is it living in Seattle? My sister is thinking about moving up there. The only time I spent in Seattle was in Seattle-Tacoma on an 8 hour layover waiting for a military contracted flight that left at 4 am when my dad got stationed in Okinawa and we had to move there. Lets just say that kinda left a bad taste in my mouth :joy:

Let me first say that, yes, this loan will feel like a huge burden lifted off my shoulders. That said, because such a large portion of my income is going towards my loan that doesn’t leave room to do much else. I’m okay with that for now. I know this lifestyle is temporary. I have been carefully tracking my expenses through Mint, a free personal finance app, to maximize my savings. I say all of this because I’d much rather be spending my free time exploring the Seattle area and taking advantage of the natural resources. Until this debt is paid off that will have to wait.

Anyway, I actually live in Tacoma. It has a bad reputation, but it’s nothing like it used to be. All of those stereotypes are long gone. It’s actually a pretty cool area. Relative to Seattle, it’s a smaller, slower-paced, less crowded city with still plenty to do. Honestly, downtown Seattle is awful, IMO. I don’t go there unless I’m going to see a game, which isn’t often. Sure, there are some nice parts of Seattle. I just don’t have enough of a reason to embrace all that comes with it.

Then there’s housing. Ridiculously overpriced. Another reason why I don’t live closer to Seattle. Housing hasn’t kept up with the demand so housing prices have skyrocketed. I’ve been able to find affordable housing in Tacoma. You can find a one bedroom apartment for $1k/mo.

Buying a home in this area is a very different story though. For example, a $550k home in Puyallup was $300k 5 years ago. One source says that the housing market in this area will rise 5.3%. With these figures I have no idea where and when we will buy a home. Homes with secondary dwelling units may be how we get started.