WHAT WILL IT COST?
A burning question which is not straightforward to answer, as there are so many choice affecting your final costs. Have a look at the budget calculator to see how much it might cost you to train with the Wings Alliance.
Here is An example of a student’s costs; including everything, even a 10% contingency allowance for ‘extras’ such as additional training.
HOW CAN I PAY FOR IT?
An equally important question. For many would-be pilots the costs of training are the greatest barrier to entry to the profession. Since the financial crash of the last 2000s, lending criteria have tightened in most counties, making it more challenging to raise the finance.
You can download a guide for the UK; although the situation may be different in your own country, the same principles are likely to apply.
If you are applying for credit, first check how good your credit rating is. Are there credit rating agencies in your country who allow you to check your own rating? In the UK check out Experian where you can sign up for a free credit check. There are usually simple steps you can take to improve your situation before applying for finance. A better rating = a better chance of securing a loan and lower interest rate.
Once you have exhausted any savings you have, the chief sources of finance are:
- Grants and preferential career development loans. Does your government support vocational training?
- Unsecured personal loans. Borrowing direct from a bank, or increasingly today, peer-to-peer lending organisations. The total amount tends to be limited and the period relatively short, but interest rates for those with good credit rating can be favourable. Check what is available in your region.
- Secured Loans. For larger sums, funds can be raised using a first or second charge mortgage on a residential or buy-to-let property, which allows a borrower to secure money against their home or their investment properties and, in the case of a second charge, without it affecting the terms of mortgage they already have in place. Wings Alliance refers pilots looking to finance their training to Y3S Private Clients, a mortgage broker that specialise in searching for the best rates from a range of lenders for discerning people who demand excellence. Wings Alliance gains no benefit from referrals.
- Credit Cards. It may seem crazy to talk about borrowing on credit cards as interest rates are notoriously high. However, competition between card providers means that many have very favourable introductory offers, such as zero % interest on spending or balance transfers during the first couple of months with no interest to pay for 2 or more years. This is ONLY for the financially savvy who are well organised, but as explained in the attached guide it is possible to borrow substantial amounts for considerable periods, paying little or no interest this way.
- Personal Borrowing. By this we mean informal loan(s) from friends and family. If you are in this position and wish to accept the generosity, consider whether you should be explicit about the terms. It can be awkward to ‘look a gift horse in the mouth’, but it may save embarrassment or worse later if you are both clear about the detail.
- Salary Sacrifice. If you the owner of your own business, or have a sympathetic employer, you may be able to get the employer to pay for some or all of your training, in exchange for a reduced salary. There can be dramatic tax advantages to this route. Although the tax rules and therefore potential savings vary from country to country, if you have the chance of this, have a look at the example in the guide based on the UK tax regime.