Become an Airline Pilot
Join the Zero Time to Airline Program
Finance your flight training

How to Finance Flight School

Zero Time to Airline

Financing your flight training is one of the biggest hurdles new students come across. There are many factors to consider when determining what financing option will work best for you. Can you make payments while flight training? Can you get a co-signer? Will you need an unsecured loan?

Everyone has different answers to these questions and so the best option varies for each person.

To help you figure out which option is best for you, please contact us. A member of our financing team can help walk you through all of the options.

Our Financing Partners

Thrust Flight has multiple financing partners that are willing to finance qualified students.

These plans vary based on each individual candidate. In some cases, you may not need to make any payments until your program is completed.

Please keep in mind that what is included in your Zero Time to Airline Program may change depending on what type of financing you utilize through our partners or on your own.

To apply through one of our financing partners you will need to complete a financing application. Contact our admissions team for more information.

Sallie Mae Loan

Sallie Mae is our most popular lending option. With a Sallie Mae Smart Option Loan, you can pay for your entire Zero Time to Airline program.

This airline pilot financing is available only to those who are in our career-oriented program Zero Time to Airline.

Visit our Sallie Mae flight school loan page to learn more about the loan and everything you’ll need for the application.

Stratus Loan

Stratus Financial is another popular lending option. They were founded by FAA Certificated Flight and Ground Instructors passionate about helping others achieve their aviation dreams.

This financing is available for any student completing any of our programs. There are a total of 5 different lending options for you to choose from once you are conditionally approved.

Visit our Stratus Loan page for more information on this financing option and and guidance on how to apply.

Using a 529 Plan

A 529 plan is a tax-advantaged savings plan designed to help pay for education. Originally limited to post-secondary education costs, it was expanded to cover K-12 education in 2017 and apprenticeship programs in 2019.

Many people may not realize that you can pay for flight training with your 529 plan.

Some plans may have certain restrictions, so reach out to your financial institution to see if your 529 plan can help pay for your flight training.

Secured Loan

For some people, a secured loan may be the best option. A secured loan has relatively low-interest rates and comes in many different forms.


If you have more than 20% equity in your home, you may qualify for a home equity line of credit or HELOC. A HELOC is a convenient and often inexpensive way to borrow money. You don’t have to get a HELOC from the company that services your mortgage. You can shop around with any number of lenders. 

401(k) Loan

Technically, 401(k) loans are not true loans, because they do not involve either a lender or an evaluation of your credit history. They are more accurately described as the ability to access a portion of your own retirement plan money. 

Unsecured Loan

For students with limited financing options, the best option may be to take out an unsecured loan. By nature, these loans have higher interest rates than secured loans but do not necessarily require any assets to get approved.

Personal Loan

A personal loan is money you borrow for just about any purpose, including debt consolidation, an unexpected medical bill, a new appliance, a vacation, or even a student loan.

You pay the money back — including interest — in monthly installments over time; usually two to five years. Most personal loans are unsecured, meaning they are not backed by collateral. Learn More…

If none of these are available to you, Thrust Flight has financial partners that can assist you in acquiring an unsecured personal loan to finance your flight training. Ask our Flight Training Director for more details.

Self Pay Payment Plan for Zero Time to Airline Program

InstallmentDue DatePercentage
Installment 12 weeks before the start date35%
Installment 260 days after the first installment35%
Installment 3120 days after the first installment30%