Student loans

Does anyone have an idea of how long it usually takes a pilot to pay off their student loans. Loans which include money from college and flightschool? How do pilots in the regionals and majors make it possible to pay off such a large loan? Do most pilots have around 80k-130k in debt or so? It’s a risk someone like me is going to have to take but I’m wondering how do other pilots make it possible.


There is no simple answer to that question as different students have different loan amounts and financial situations. What I can tell you in my case (which was a while ago) I simply made interest only payments until I was able to take an equity loan against my house to pay them off. Many of the Regionals are now offering ATP students Tuition Reimbursement which seems to be very helpful in picking up the bulk or at least a good portion of the payment. What I can tell you is virtually everyone who’s gone through the program has faced the same challenge and all have found a way. With the current salaries at the Majors, if you still had debt left you should be able to pay it off fairly quickly.




Everyone’s situation is different. I know some pilots that had money in
savings and paid off their loans before they reached 1500 hours.

Me, it will take me 6-7 years. I was fortunate. A family member, that
trusts me to make on-time payments, was willing to pay off my loan from
Sallie Mae. Now, I pay my family member directly at a 5% interest rate.

I’m starting off slow. My monthly $500 tuition reimbursement payments will
stop in April, 2018. But, April will also mark my first full year at
Horizon. So, even though my reimbursement will end, the raise I will
receive almost equates to the same amount. So, I will continue to make
payments of $500 until I start earning Captain wages.

I’ve been at Horizon for about 9 months. I feel stable now, but in the
beginning I was living with roommates and picking up as much extra flying
as I could to make ends meet.


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Thanks !

How much was your interest with Sally Mae?

My interest rate was at 9.125% when I refinanced.