Financing Your Flight School: Comprehensive Guide to Student Loans

Flight school loans from Sallie Mae

Flight Training Student Loans: Myths Debunked & Options Explored
We are often asked if there are student loans available for flight students, and we’re happy to say that there are several options. Many people mistakenly believe student loans are only available for college. However, Epic students can apply to Sallie Mae or other lenders for flight training. (We also have loan options for aircraft mechanic students.)

Setting Up Your Student Loan: Guidelines & Considerations for Future Pilots
We have provided information here to help you in this process. Please research all options and plan accordingly when setting up a student loan account. Some students are interested in consolidated loans. You can discuss options with these lenders. They will check your credit score when you apply. Most student loans do not expect you to begin making payments until you graduate and begin your career.

Am I eligible for the Sallie Mae Smart Option Student Loan?

Many Epic Flight Academy students apply for and receive student loans from Sallie Mae. Below is a list of all those eligible to apply:

  • U.S. Citizens and Permanent Resident Aliens are eligible.
  • Resident Alien with required U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) documentation.
  • Non-U.S. citizen students (including DACA students) who reside in and attend school in the U.S., are eligible with a creditworthy cosigner (who must be a U.S. citizen or U.S. permanent resident) and are required to provide an unexpired government-issued photo ID to verify identity.
  • Those who meet current credit and other eligibility criteria.
  • Students attending school full-time, half-time, or less than half-time, or taking prerequisite classes. Students attending summer classes or continuing education classes.
  • If you still need funds after maximizing grants, scholarships, and federal student loans you can apply.
  • Anyone taking courses that do not qualify for federal student loans.
  • Students attending summer classes or continuing education classes.
  • Those who still need funds after maximizing grants, scholarships, and federal student loans.
  • Students taking courses that do not qualify for federal student loans.

How do I apply for a loan?

Applying is easy! Students (or co-signers) can apply online. This takes approximately 15 minutes. Next, you will receive your credit approval. This includes your estimated monthly payment amounts, interest rates, and total number of payments to help select your repayment option. Follow these steps to apply now:

  1. First, complete the application form online.
  2. Under “Loan Needs,” select whether you are a student, co-signer, parent or sponsor.
  3. For “Type of Program,” select “Career training school.”
  4. Select “Florida” for the state.
  5. Search for “Epic Flight Academy” and click on that.
  6. Finally, provide requested information. We look forward to seeing you soon at Epic!
  7. Once your account is established, you will have login credentials to check in anytime.

What is Epic’s administrative code for Sallie Mae?

Epic’s administrative code is 606701-00. Most importantly, always use this number when contacting Sallie Mae.

What are the loan limits?

There is a minimum of $1,000. Also, the maximum is the school-certified cost of attendance, less other financial aid received – no aggregate loan limit. Also, Sallie Mae reserves the right to approve a lower loan amount than the school-certified amount.

Looking for additional information?

Check out our most frequently asked questions. Furthermore, Sallie Mae has provided additional information that can be downloaded as PDFs:

Contact information:

Students can call 800-4-SALLIE (1-800-472-5543)
Website: Sallie Mae Career Training Smart Option Loan

Stratus Financial Loans

Another lender flight students rely on is Stratus Financial. Stratus Financial was founded by FAA Certificated Flight and Ground Instructors passionate about helping others achieve their aviation dreams. They know it’s not just about achieving your dreams (because they looked up in the sky every time they heard an airplane, too!), but funding your family’s dreams as well.

With Stratus, you’re not just a number. They look beyond the typical credit scores and see you as an aviator. Their goal is to set you up for success before you even apply with them. Stratus lending packages include:

  • A great rate to take you from zero to hero
  • Full financing for your entire flight training and more
  • Affordable payment options, including deferment for 12 months while you complete your training AND find a job
  • And, you can pay off your loan any time you want with no consequences or penalties whatsoever.

Stratus also provides resources for your aviation career:

  • Counseling with their team of flight and ground instructors to support you through flight training, check rides and even interviews with airlines
  • Resume reviewing, editing, and building
  • AMA phone calls with pilots in the 121 and 135 industry

The process is simple, and you can get started now. If you have limited credit or low income, you may need a co-borrower to apply with you.

Are there other loan sources to pursue training for a career as an airline pilot or aircraft mechanic?

Loan Options for Student Pilots

Yes, other lenders support pilot training and mechanic training. For instance, you can contact your personal bank to see if they provide student loans. Similarly, there are certain lenders that offer students loans for specific criteria. In other words, lenders may have residency requirements. We have listed several options below that might work for you.

Option 1:

Commerce Bank

When applying for a loan at Epic Flight Academy, use this code: 513979

Option 2:


When applying for a loan at Epic Flight Academy, use this code: 900902

Option 3:

Florida Credit Union

When applying for a loan at Epic Flight Academy, use this code: 900823

Option 4:

Alaska Supplemental Education Loan (ASEL)

First of all, these loans are open to Alaskan residents or someone training in Alaska. Also, you must be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen.

Option 5:

Alaska Family Education Loan (FEL)

  • First of all, you 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

Option 6:

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 through the credit union.
  • Call 1-800-533-0035

Option 7:

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

Option 8:

We Florida Financial (WeFly)

  • First of all, you must be Florida resident or a member with AOPA.
  • You can borrow up to $30,000.
  • There is a 6-year repayment term.
  • Inquire online or by calling 954-745-2400.

Option 9:

Veterans Educational Benefits

  • Veterans may be unsure of eligibility or have questions about G.I. Bill entitlement. If so, contact the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (1-888-GIBILL1). Eligible students enrolled here must maintain satisfactory academic progress. This is a requirement to receive VA education benefits. Currently, the VA does support Aircraft Mechanic Training.
  • Flight training is available to eligible veterans and reservists. See Chapters 30, 32 and 33, Title 38 USC, Chapter 1606 and Title 10 USC. For instance, only training at Part 141 flight schools is eligible for benefits. Also, students must hold an unrestricted PPL and at least a Class II medical certificate. You must meet these criteria to be eligible for benefits. Next, 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. After that, the VA pays benefits are monthly. This is following submission by the school of a “monthly certification of training.” In other words, you must pay attention to all VA details for the reason that they are so specific.
  • 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.

Are there any flight school student loan options for international students?

Yes. International flight students may also qualify for student loans or other types of financing.

Are there scholarships available for flight school?

There are numerous organizations that offer scholarships to student pilots. Also, students can find scholarships locally. For instance, service organizations such as Rotary, Lions Club, etc. may offer financial support. Additionally, some employers offer scholarship. As a result, many students use scholarships for part of their tuition and student loans for the remainder.

Are the financial benefits sufficient to justify a student loan?

Airline pilot salaries have steadily increased along with benefits. Therefore, we encourage you to compare the cost of training and loan interest to potential earnings. Pilot salary potential is at an all-time high. Besides, most pilots become pilots for reasons other than a high salary. Certainly, it is up to you to decide your career path. In other words, do your research, and above all, follow your passion.

Epic Chat Close