Loan Payment Questions

Hey all

I’m currently planning on starting ATP this March, and am looking at loan options. I was accepted by Sallie Mae and they offered a fixed rate of 11.25%. My post graduation monthly payment would be close to $1200. Did anyone have a similar situation? Was the post graduation payment manageable? Any advice? All responses are welcomed and appreciated!


Hi Hunter,

Am near finishing my program, I selected the Sallie Mae payment that offered the $25/mo. payment, to get a lower rate. There was recently another posting about loan repayment (How to Pay Back the Loan). After I fully am vested in my career and signed, I plan to refinance to get a lower interest rate. Mine is well near 12.35%, with a cosigner…it’s nuts! I argued with Sallie Mae and they wouldn’t negotiate anything better with me, I even used some of my previous financial experience with underwriting lenders.



First and foremost congrats on your decision. There’s really no better first step towards a career in aviation.

As for the loan I know many people like Brady look to refinance as soon as they’re more stable and fine themselves in a better position. It’s also possible to defer your payments for a while until you have more income (but you will of course incur much more interest). Also if when hiring starts up again, I’m certain we’ll be looking at Tuition Reimbursements again (though no one knows quite when?).

As for the payments being able that entirely depends on you and your personal situation. If you’re living at home with min expenses it’s obviously easier than if you’ve got a family of 4, a mortgage and car payments.



My loan with SM was 9.125%. I started receiving Tuition Reimbursement as a CFI and that made a huge difference. I refinanced my loan during my second year at Horizon down to 5%.


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A few things to keep in mind, you get a good grace period after you graduate from atp before you have to start paying it off (I think mine was 3 months but you may be able to extend it to 6). During that time try saving as much your income as possible to prepare. At the time, I had tuition reimbursement programs as an option so that helped but hopefully by the time you graduate those programs will be an option again. That would entirely cover your loan payment. But if not, find atp locations with instructor openings with low cost of living and maybe live with a few other instructors or in the atp housing to keep costs down. It’s tight but manageable. Once you’re a little more settled try to refinance to get that interest rate down. I’m in the process of that now and know some of my peers who got it as low as 3%.



You will certainly not be eating steak dinners every night, but it is manageable. Have you spoken with Kirk in Financing about ways to reduce the payments?


Hi Tory,

Revisiting this thread to try and get some answers so hopefully you can help? Im aware different airlines offer different reimbursement options but how does it work exactly? Referring to the financial assistance sheet provided, some airlines give tuition/bonuses or both. Would you be able to give a scenario of what this could look like over a time period?

Thanks in advance.



Tuition reimbursement programs are tied to cadet/pathway programs. They way those work, after you finish all your ratings as a student you apply to each cadet program. Once accepted you can opt in to tuition reimbursement. Each program varies a bit but generally speaking each month the airline will pay directly to your lender to cover the loan payment. It can be a flat rate per hour you fly or just a flat amount per month up to a capped amount.

Then if they happen to also have sign on bonuses, typically that factors in to the total payout. For example, $15,000 bonuses can be up to $10,000 paid out in tuition reimbursement and then an additional $5k as a sign on bonus when you meet ATP mins and start class with that airline.



My apologies, I have only seen this post after I created a separate topic post along the same subject. Thank you for the response though!



No worries! I was just about to go respond over on that thread. Not sure I can follow @Adam’s motivational speech :joy: