Welcome Flight School Owners and
Managers. Everything you need to know
about our finance programs, the funding
process and how to enroll is right here.
We recommend taking a few minutes
to review all the FAQs. They will inform
you of the benefits such as lower dropout
rates, reaching additional student markets
and student retention. We are confident
they will help you improve your revenue.

Flight School Navigator

Step 1: Program FAQs

Q:

Can my students finance their training with Pilot Finance?

A:

Students can finance their training only through enrolled flight schools. There are currently over 1,300 schools enrolled and we are adding more every day!

If your school is not currently enrolled to offer Pilot Finance programs to your students, all the information you need is included in these FAQs.

Q:

What about cost and liability?

A:

Generally, enrolled flight schools have no financial liability or costs associated with offering Pilot Finance’s programs. There are certain minor administrative responsibilities, such as getting contracts signed and submitting signed invoices / training records for payment. This is discussed more in later FAQs.

Q:

Is there a cost for enrolling?

A:

There is no cost to enroll, unless:

  1. You own or manage a new school that does not have an established track record of training the type of customers we finance;
  2. Your school has made multiple requests for enrollment supplies in the past and have lost or discarded the original supplied materials; or
  3. Your school specializes in professional or career-oriented flight training.

In these cases we may ask for a $200 enrollment fee that is fully refundable when we accept our first account.

Q:

What kind of training can be financed?

A:

Our finance programs are designed for part-time fixed-wing private pilot or instrument training. Under certain circumstances we are also able to accommodate advanced training, rotorcraft training, and sport pilot training.

Q:

What are the credit requirements?

A:

We primarily look at two things when assessing a student’s creditworthiness.

  1. Credit history: We look at the length, type, and quality of the student’s credit history to see if they have historically made their payments on time.
  2. Income and employment: We look at how long the student has been at their current job, as well as their income to see if they can afford the monthly payments.
Q:

What about commercial and advanced training?

A:

We can finance commercial and advanced programs as long as the training fits within our program guidelines and the monthly payment amount will be affordable to the student. For more information, give special attention to minimum program sizes and typical program sizes later in these FAQs.

Students that need a succession of ratings should look ahead and be aware of how their payments could increase – and whether they will be able to qualify.  While we welcome new business, we also strive to avoid transactions that appear likely to leave students “stuck” in their training cycle; a situation where more training is needed to achieve a commercial or career goal but they are financially unable to continue.

Q:

What about rotorcraft training?

A:

We can finance helicopter programs as long as the training fits within our program guidelines and the monthly payment amount will be affordable to the student. For more information, give special attention to minimum program sizes and typical program sizes later in these FAQs.

Almost all rotorcraft students plan to use their training in some commercial endeavor. So it is important to look ahead to see how payments could increase with additional training and whether the student will be able to qualify for more financing and higher payments.  While we welcome new business, we also strive to avoid transactions that appear likely to leave students “stuck” in their training cycle; a situation where more training is needed to achieve a commercial or career goal but they are financially unable to continue.

Q:

What about sport pilot training?

A:

We can finance sport pilot programs as long as the training fits within our program guidelines. Sport pilot programs are often fewer hours than full private pilot programs. For more information, give special attention to minimum program sizes and typical program sizes later in these FAQs.

Q:

What training schedules can be accommodated?

A:

Pilot Finance programs are for part-time training with training schedules that average between 1-5 lessons per week. The maximum training schedule must be established in advance because the maximum repayment periods we can offer is determined by the agreed maximum (average) training schedule. Lessons missed because of weather, scheduling or other reasons can be “made up” later, but you may not accelerate your training beyond the agreed maximum (average) training schedule, measured cumulatively.

Unfortunately, at this time our programs cannot accommodate accelerated training that involves more than 5 lessons per week.  Please see our payment calculator after these FAQs to see how your training schedule affects your payment size.

For purposes of our financing, individual flight lessons may average up to 2.0 hours of aircraft rental and up to 3.0 hours total instruction time.

Q:

What are the repayment terms?

A:

The repayment terms are determined by the number of lessons per week, on average, the student would like to take. Repayment terms range from 18 months for our most accelerated programs with 5 lessons per week, to 72 months for programs with only 1 lesson per week. Most of our customers use programs with 2-3 lessons per week and repay over 48-60 months. At the end of these FAQs, please refer to our payment calculator to see how training schedules affect the size of their payments.

 

Training Schedule Repayment Terms
1 lesson per week 72 months
2 lessons per week 60 months
3 lessons per week 48 months
4 lessons per week 30 months
5 lessons per week 18 months

 

Q:

What if my student uses all their training funds before they finish?

A:

The student can apply for “add-on” or “finish-up” training provided that 50% of the payments on his or her initial account are satisfactorily paid. To avoid this situation, we strongly encourage students and schools to package training programs that will be fully sufficient to achieve the training goal.  Most of our schools add a “cushion” of additional aircraft and instruction hours, because many students need more hours than they originally anticipated.

Please be aware that additional training will likely have to be paid from other resources.  For most transactions, unused training funds cannot be forfeited, as explained in the next FAQ.

Q:

What if my student doesn’t use all their training funds?

A:

If funds are left over after training is completed, the student has several options: 1) use the remaining funds to rent aircraft and build hours; 2) use the remaining funds to take additional training; or 3) elect to terminate his or her program and have the unused training funds credited to their Pilot Finance account to reduce their remaining monthly payments.

PLEASE NOTE: All training funds may be fully earned, or used up, by the flight school in certain circumstances where the school has guaranteed certification and/or committed to providing free “finish-up” training, if needed. If there are questions about this issue, ask Pilot Finance.

Q:

What if my student wants to stop training?

A:

The documentation for financing training through Pilot Finance provides that the student may terminate their training at any time for any reason, or for no reason at all! The flight school and Pilot Finance warrant this right. Both of us guarantee an immediate refund of any unused training funds at the time of the student’s termination.

Q:

Is there a minimum program size?

A:

The minimum program size for our standard repayment plans will include at least 45 hours of aircraft rental. We consider programs that include 25-45 hours of aircraft rental on an exception basis, but with shorter-than-normal repayment terms. Programs with fewer than 25 hours of aircraft rental cannot be approved for financing.

Q:

What about partial programs under 45 hours?

A:

We consider “partial programs” that include 25-44 hours on an exception basis.  Partial programs are not eligible for the full repayment terms that are offered for “full” programs of 45 or more hours of aircraft rental.

The repayment terms for partial programs are determined on an individual basis, but generally range between 50%-90% of “full” repayment terms.  If one of your students may need a partial program and would like a monthly payment estimate, please call us at (800) 667-0201

Q:

What program sizes are typical?

A:

For the private pilot and instrument programs we finance, a typical, “full”, training program includes between 55-65 hours of aircraft rental.

Because financing “add-on” or “finish-up” training will likely not be available, it is important that program sizes be fully sufficient, in the best judgment of the school and the student, to achieve the training goal.

Q:

Is there a maximum program size?

A:

Pilot Finance does not have a maximum program size limit. The maximum financed program is determined by the applicant’s training goals, training schedule, demonstrated payment history, and of course his or her ability to pay the monthly payments.

Q:

What are the interest rates?

A:

Our contract interest rates range from 12%-18% depending on the qualifications of the student.  Generally, a student’s interest rate will be somewhat lower than he or she might pay on traditional credit card accounts.  The next FAQ explains how every student can obtain lower interest rates with our Preferred Customer Interest Refund Program.

Q:

Are lower interest rates available?

A:

Our Preferred Customer Interest Refund Program is a simple way for students to earn back up to 25% of their interest.  If the student makes all of his or her payments on time, the interest will be recalculated 3 percentage points lower than their contract rate and we will refund them the difference.  For customers that make their payments on time, the effective interest rates charged work out to between 9%-15%.

Q:

Will my customer pay a penalty for paying an account off early?

A:

No. There is no prepayment penalty. Upon prepayment in full, the student will be refunded any unearned interest for paying off the account early. Interest rebates, or refunds, for early payment in full (referred to as “prepayment”) are determined by the finance regulations in each state. The calculation varies slightly state to state.

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