How to finance flight school?

How did you finance flight school? This is the most asked question I received on Instagram and on this website. Today I will try to give some clarity on this subject and hopefully, it will help you.

It has been 10 years since I got my finance for flight school, things might have changed since that moment. There are a few options how you could finance your flight school. To start you have to keep in account that an integrated study cost between €60.000 and €110.000 depending on where you want to do it, and don’t forget the €30.000,- type-rating you have to do. I did my aviation training at the NLS in the Netherlands and cost a little below €100.000,- at that time (2007). As I’m not from a rich family my parents could not help me with financing this amount of money. This brings me to the first option:

Option 1: Mary a rich person and let them pay it for you. Just kidding. The first option is to self-finance your aviation training. This means that you might have to borrow money from family or friends. Or maybe even have to sell your house if you have one. I don’t have to explain too much about this because here there are endless possibilities.

Option 2: Military aviation training. If you start with the militairy training they pay you from the start usually and you get a CPL when you finish your training. But you will start flying commercially after you finish your contract in the military or if they kick you out. This option I would never choose because to start with I’m too lazy for this and second of all, you learn to fly single pilot mostly and in commercial aviation they want you to work together, might just be that in your country they don’t hire ex-military pilots much longer for this reason.

Option 3: This is something that I haven’t heard for a while and that is: A flight school that hires you together with an airline and pays for the training if you sign a bond with that airline for a few years and otherwise you have to pay them back an X amount of money. Before the crisis in 2007 this happened with some companies but again, I haven’t heard about this for about 10 years.

Option 4: The most used option. Take a bank loan. Almost every flight school had a bank they worked together in the past to get a bank loan for their students. This is also what I had to do in 2007 when I went to the NLS. I went to the bank and asked for a bank loan of €100.000,-. I was 18 years old and had €461,-  saved in my bank account. The bank than askes someone (mostly parents) to guarantee a part of their house. this means that if you are not able to pay back the bank, they are in their right to take a part of the house of your parents if they signed. Every bank has different conditions so you really have to be careful about what you sign up to. Depending on the time you sign for you have to pay an X amount of interest to the bank. I remember that when I started paying back the money I had to pay about €1100,- per month. And you cannot say, Hi bank I don’t have a job in aviation right now can I please pay you back whenever I found a job in aviation? They will say NO! If you find a job filling up shelves in a supermarket you will find yourself working fulltime and just be able to pay off the bank loan every month for the next 20 years. And then you still have to make money to eat and drink etc.

Option 5: Become a bank robber and steal at least the money needed for flight-training. Don’t get caught in the act. Look for a flight school that you can pay with cash. (this is the least common option and I won’t advice this in any case because if the police takes you, there will be no flightschool or airline who wants to hire you.

My advice in this is: KNOW WHAT YOU START WITH! A flight school will always sell themselves with the following: “Don’t you worry, with this flight school you find a job guaranteed” If they do this, let them sign a contract that if you don’t find a job they pay all of the money back. 😉

If you have any questions regarding this subject or you want to know more about this? Feel free to contact me on the contact page on this website or leave a comment in the comment section below.

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