Managing Debt

I just got my approval from Sallie Mae for my flight school loan yesterday and have a intro flight this Saturday that I’m excited for, putting me one step closer to getting a start date. Just waiting on my new contact prescription to go get my medical! I wanted to ask around on how people have managed their debt from flight school? I have read threads on here already about refinancing and such but how far into the career were you when you did it? How long did you defer your payments until you started paying on them? I was given a 12 month grace period but I want to potentially defer that until I get on at an airline if I can.

Brandon

Just curious, how long did you have to wait to hear back from Sallie Mae? I’m on day 4 and when I called a representative on Monday they said they would need until the end of the day due to the “magnitude of the loan.” But still no word :confused:

my response took 9 days or 7 business days to finally get an email that I was approved. Hang in there

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I applied for it last Thursday and they replied Friday requesting I call them. I called them Monday and after answering some questions about some of my finances they approved me over the phone. I just followed step by step the process that ATP put on their website for how to answer each question and it seemed to go pretty smooth.

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Brandon,

Everyone will prob have different answers. I deferred for a year and then made interest only payments until I was hired. That said today many of the Regionals are offering Tuition Reimbursement or signing bonuses which make the whole thing much more manageable.

Adam

Adam,

DId you ever refinance the loan or did/do you just pay on the initial loan until it’s paid off? I would love to cash in on some of these signing bonus opportunities if they still have them when I get there! :crossed_fingers:

Brandon,
It will be different for everyone as people finances are all different. I’d recommend figuring out which regional you want to go so you can commit to tuition reimbursement. That is the best way to start paying off the loan without really paying on it yourself. Once at the regionals, you can refinance and get a lower interest rate or even lower payments to make it more manageable.
-Hannah

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Brandon,

I refinanced it with a home equity line and paid the whole thing off relatively quickly.

I’m quite certain the bonuses and incentives will be around for a while.

Adam

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Brandon,

To tag along to the thread here, tuition reimbursement and refinancing are both good things to be thinking about.

Receiving tuition reimbursement while teaching as a CFI, for me, provided me with the financial support that I needed to start making progress on my loan.

Shortly after being hired by Horizon I refinanced my loan and cut my interest rate by nearly half.

I was with Horizon for almost 5 years and now I am at Alaska. At this rate my goal is to have my loan fully paid off no later than 2025, which would be 5 years sooner than the loan’s original term.

It will feel great to have this debt finally out from underneath of me.

You are entering the industry at a moment where the industry is making record breaking recruiting efforts to replenish the pilot supply which was only worsened by the early retirements offered over the past two years. That means that tuition reimbursement and signing bonuses are only even better now than they were when I was in your position.

Tory

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