Sad times for me

Hey all, turns out I won’t be attending ATP in the near future. I wasn’t able to get anyone to cosign my SallieMae loan. I also tried Meritize and they said something along the lines of not servicing loans for Wisconsin. I can’t afford to make a move right now so Aviate was already out of the question. Due to this, it looks like I’ll be working on my PPL from my local Part 61 school. There is a tech school nearby (25ish minutes each way) that does offer an Associates that gets all the way to CFI (single, multi, and instrument), but I’m not sure if my wife and I could make about 21 months with me only working part time (family plans, etc). Any suggestions? Thanks


My suggestion is don’t give up. The fact is flight training is expensive and is often the biggest obstacle many perspective pilots face. It might mean waiting until you’re in a better financial situation but that’s ok. While we all want what we want now, that simply isn’t how life works.

If you truly aspire to fly you will find a way. My only caution is be careful spending too much money on your PPL locally. I’ve seen many horror stories of people spending years and tens of thousands of dollars at their local flight school. That’s money which could be used to lower the amount you’re looking to borrow and could mean the difference between getting approved or not.


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Sorry to hear that. Keep evaluating your options.

To add to Adam’s post.
You want to make sure the school has good MX, a good curriculum that keeps you on a good pace and enough CFIs / Aircraft so you can fly 3x per week (2 minimum). Repetition is key for the PVT.

Your part, is study and know the stuff prior to each flight. The CFI should do minimal teaching / giving examples in the aircraft. Make sure you have the $$$ to afford 50-60hrs of flying in 3- months. You run out of $$$, you get delayed, you will get rusty fast.

ATP or any other flight school that stuff really doesn’t change.

Good luck,
Chris F


Whatever you do, do not give up. I was once in the predicament you were in where my loans were approved and financially I couldn’t upfront the costs. I went the “mom and pop” school way for 13-months and it was a journey. Not only did I pay a lot out of pocket for my course work, but they also terminated the flight school at my hometown airport and moved it to an airport 45-minutes away from where I was learning.

Your options are out there, maybe now may not be the time, or one day will be the time. I will say be mindful of where you go for your training. A lot of smaller-scale schools operate on 1 or 2 aircraft, the problem being is if one is already in MX and the other gets a flat tire, you may miss a day. The other thing to take into consideration is how many instructors are available, if there is only 1 and they get sick, it could delay your training if they are away from for a few days.

If you can find financing for the full portion of your PPL then that could be a route to go. Do know, in order to attend ATP Credit Private, you need a minimum of 78 hours TT and 8 hours PIC XC. I found a way to afford my PPL but had to take a loan for ATP which is common.



Something that hasn’t been mentioned so far is the training support specialist role. Addison detailed it well here: Training Support Specialist -> ATP Program
Might be something worth considering.


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The option Ben posted above is a great opportunity and fairly new. Unfortunately it’s not uncommon to see students in your same position. That’s why ATP created a pathway to secure a loan after 2 years of employment as a TSS. Maybe worth looking in to…




I feel your pain. I was in a similar situation last summer. Could not find a cosignor and Meritize at the time was not servicing Michigan. At the time, I was planning on doing the Flex Track option (no longer offered). So, currently I’m in a holding pattern and trying to get myself in a better financial situation so that in another year or two I will have a better shot at getting financed without the cosigner. I see the Training Support Specialist program looks like a good deal and I would be very interested in that except for one thing in my situation. At the moment I don’t consider it an option because the closest school to me is Willow Run (Detroit area) while I live near GRR (Grand Rapids) airport and a couple months ago just resigned my apartment lease. So until that is up, I’m not interested in relocating. Next year though when my lease is up I may very seriously look into the TSS option.

Adam said it best, “we all want what we want now…”. Coming from someone who is currently paddling a similar boat as you, don’t get discouraged. I might take longer than you originally planned but if it’s something you truly want, like me, you’ll continue to work towards it.


I definitely appreciate all the responses. I looked into the TSS route, but the closest ATP to me (Milwaukee/Waukesha) doesn’t have any open positions and relocating is not an option. My one thought is to go to the part 141 at the tech school since it would be 21ish months to get CFI. My only concern would be having to work part time while I’m there, not a biggie, just would be very busy.