How to finance a pilot training
A pilot training school costs a lot of money, it often leads to wonder how people can finance a pilot training. There is a common idea that student pilots are rich kids with all their training paid for by their parents. Although this is true for some of them, this is not the case for the majority.
Know how much you need to finance your pilot training
Whether you are lucky enough to get help from your parents or not, you must plan for the expected expenses. How much to finance depends on the flight school you choose to attend, but expect to spend between 70k€ and 150k€.
To that you have to add:
- The cost of living
Indeed, chances are that your pilot training is far away from your home. Plan for a training duration of 18 months, it is how long it takes to train in most flight schools.
- Any extra flight during your training
Most pilot courses include the least amount of flight time requested by regulation. This means that any extra flight due to a failed flight test or more training needed will cost you money. One hour of flight on a DA42 costs 600€, so the amount quickly goes up.
- Any extra fees
Read the fine prints of your pilot training contract. Many extra expenses will become big ones if added together. They can be exam fees, uniforms, pilot equipment and so on.
In general, plan for an extra 5% to 10% of the cost of your pilot training.
The ways of financing your pilot training
The best way to get financed is, as you have guessed, through your parents or family. If you get financed 100% of the training cost, brillant, you get rid of a lot of financial stress during your time training as a pilot. Otherwise, you can finance part of it, and use one of the other ways discussed in this article to finance the rest.
The tricky part is how to convince your family about financing such a project. Indeed, culture plays a big role in how we view paying such a big amount to a flight school that doesn’t guarantee a job in the end. In France for example, studies are entirely free so it can be more difficult to convince people to pay for studies compared to a family in the USA.
Student or personal loan
This is the most common way to finance pilot training, either through a student or a personal loan; the student loan being the most interesting. The interest rate, duration, maximum loaned amount and conditions are different depending on your bank and your country. But, it is possible to get between 1% and 2% interest rate for a duration up to 12 years.
Whatever the amount, a student loan is always more interesting than a personal loan. So aim for that if you have the conditions. For people in the UK, Finder.com is a good place to compare the offers. Even so, it is better to book an appointment with your bank adviser to have a better idea of what can be offered to finance your pilot training.
In many countries there are some ways to get your pilot training financed, at least partially. For example, French citizens can get their training financed by the “Fongecif” program. This program, at the conditions that you work for more than a year, allows you to finance up to 18000€ with your salary paid during your pilot training. Check if there are any similar programs in your country, it would be a shame not to use it!
There is no project without savings. Start saving for your pilot training before even looking at other ways. Who knows, you will not get your loan or your family will not be able to finance your training. Of course, it is always easier to save money when you have a job rather than being at school. The amount you are going to save will differ depending on your situation but you should be able to find a way.
Open a savings account, call it “my pilot training saving”, set up an automatic transfer from your current account to it. After a while, you will have an amount ready to spend for your pilot training. Whether it is 10%, 30% or whatever up to 100%, it means it will be less to ask your family or your bank.
Bear in mind that you can use and mix all these methods to finance your pilot training. Some people use a mix of saving and student loan while others use a mix of family finance and personal loan. It depends on your personal situation.
Whatever the way, the most important thing is to plan your expenses and to add between 5% and 10% to it. There is nothing worse than being wrong about the costs and having to delay or cancel your training for this reason.
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