Flight School Financing – U.S. Students

Due to the growing pilot shortage, we hear from domestic (U.S.) students and international students daily who would like to begin training for a career in aviation. Although the average cost of training to become a commercial pilot for those who have never flown is only about $70,000, that is still a lot of money, even for a career that pays well over $100,000 per year. Would-be pilots ask us about borrowing student loans, private loans, aviation loans, and other funding opportunities for education. Many know pilots who received loans from Sallie Mae or other traditional lending organizations, so they come to us wanting answers. Sadly, in 2007, Congress ended student loan support for vocational education, which includes flight training. This is widely believed to be contributing to the growing pilot shortage. Still, even without government subsidized student loans, future aviators can still secure funding and earn their wings. We have created this page to provide resources to those who need to borrow funds to cover flight training costs and hope it will help. You are encouraged to review your credit score and take steps to repair any credit issues that might prevent you from obtaining financing.

Funding Resources:

Private and State Loans

Fort Morgan State Bank Loan

  • Loan will only cover 80% of total cost of education
  • 20 year repayment term
  • Aggregate limit of $100,000
  • Click here to apply or call 1-800-592-1270.

Alaska Supplemental Education Loan (ASEL)

Alaska Family Education Loan (FEL)

  • Must be an Alaska resident
  • Loan limit of $10,000 per year
  • Aggregate limit of $56,000
  • Repayment term: 10 years
  • Students/Family members click here to apply or call 1-800-441-2962

Kentucky Advantage Education Loan

  • Kentucky residents attending out-of-state schools
  • Borrow up to total cost of education
  • 15 year repayment
  • Students/Parents click here to apply or call 1-800-988-6333

New Jersey Class Loan

  • NJ residents attending out-of-state schools
  • Borrow up to total cost of education
  • Repayment terms 10,15, or 20 years
  • Click here to apply or call 1-800-792-8670

American Airlines Credit Education Loan

  • Must be an eligible member of American Airlines Credit Union
  • Can borrow up to $40,000
  • Repayment up to 10 years, payments begin as soon as funds are disbursed www.aacreditunion.org
  • Call 1-800-533-0035

AOPA Aviation Finance Company

  • Maximum loan amount: $100,000
  • 7 year maximum to repay, payments begin as soon as funds are disbursed
  • Inquire online or by calling 1-800-627-5263

We Florida Financial (WeFly)

  • Must be Florida resident or a member with AOPA
  • Can borrow up to $30,000
  • 6-year repayment term
  • Inquire online or by calling 954-745-2400

Veterans Educational Benefits

  • Veterans who are unsure of their eligibility or have questions about their entitlement should contact the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (1-888-GIBILL1). Eligible students enrolled in flight training at Epic Flight Academy must maintain satisfactory academic progress in the program in which they enroll to continue receiving VA education benefits.
  • Flight training is available to eligible veterans and reservists under Chapters 30, 32 and 33, Title 38 USC, Chapter 1606 and Title 10 USC. Only training at flight schools approved under Part 141 are eligible for benefits. Students must hold an unrestricted “Private Pilot Certificate” and at least Class II medical certificate privileges to be eligible for benefits. You must prove Class II privileges prior to the start of each course. Benefits are payable for dual flight, ground school training, and pre/post flight briefings. Benefits are paid monthly following submission by the school of a “monthly certification of training.”
  • Applicants for Education Benefits (22-1990) and Request of Change of Program of Place of Training (22-5495) should be sent to: VA Regional Office, P.O. Box 888, Muskogee, OK 74402-888.