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I can't decide if this should be in the General or Training Forum - But so many people ask questions regarding 'how' and 'shoud I' so here goes....

 

A few years back I went on a helicopter ride and decided that I might want to become a Pilot. After a year of research I quit my 'succesful' career and went to flight school full time. Too many people spend their lives wishing they had time, or tried this, or maybe one day... I was tired of the traditional life/road to success.

 

Got the Loan. Moved far. Total commitment. If I make it great - If I don't, at least I won't spend the rest of my life wondering what if....?

 

A year later I had gone from 0 to CFII. I was fortunate to be able to hire on at the school I trained at to instruct. (I think this type of 'fortune' follows those that work hard, show up on time, and do what they say.) So I went to work teaching. During this time I was able to pay the bills and begin paying back the loan.

 

Once again the hard work paid off with students that were successful and progressed towards thier certificates.

 

This lead to the magic thousand and the oppurtunities that are available to the newbie. Enter the Gulf of Mexico. Went south for the stable, salaried income with benefits.

 

Now what - The glamour is gone - The job is good - And I can't imagine making a living any other way.

 

By the way I'll have that ugly 20 year loan paid off in 5 - That's right - A little hard work and financial discipline add up fast.

 

So to the future EMM do what you will - To the grumpy nay sayers - you will live and be what you think.

 

I want everyone to know it is possible. I am surrounded by helicopter success stories down here in the Gulf and I live at 500 Feet and 100 Knots all day -

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I can't decide if this should be in the General or Training Forum - But so many people ask questions regarding 'how' and 'shoud I' so here goes....

 

A few years back I went on a helicopter ride and decided that I might want to become a Pilot. After a year of research I quit my 'succesful' career and went to flight school full time. Too many people spend their lives wishing they had time, or tried this, or maybe one day... I was tired of the traditional life/road to success.

 

Got the Loan. Moved far. Total commitment. If I make it great - If I don't, at least I won't spend the rest of my life wondering what if....?

 

A year later I had gone from 0 to CFII. I was fortunate to be able to hire on at the school I trained at to instruct. (I think this type of 'fortune' follows those that work hard, show up on time, and do what they say.) So I went to work teaching. During this time I was able to pay the bills and begin paying back the loan.

 

Once again the hard work paid off with students that were successful and progressed towards thier certificates.

 

This lead to the magic thousand and the oppurtunities that are available to the newbie. Enter the Gulf of Mexico. Went south for the stable, salaried income with benefits.

 

Now what - The glamour is gone - The job is good - And I can't imagine making a living any other way.

 

By the way I'll have that ugly 20 year loan paid off in 5 - That's right - A little hard work and financial discipline add up fast.

 

So to the future EMM do what you will - To the grumpy nay sayers - you will live and be what you think.

 

I want everyone to know it is possible. I am surrounded by helicopter success stories down here in the Gulf and I live at 500 Feet and 100 Knots all day -

 

"The very first law in advertising is to avoid the concrete promise and cultivate the delightfully vague." (Bill Cosby)

 

How much was that "ugly 20 year loan" you got "a few years back"?

 

If a student currently gets a loan for the SSH program and defers the payments for twelve months while in training the loan balance will be about $77.7k when they start making payments. To pay that off five years out of flight school would require monthly payments of $1,700...$20,405 a year. That's a lot of "financial discipline" while living on the pay of a CFI and a newbee in the GOM. Or maybe you're just single with no other obligations.

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very nice RW, but things dont always turn out so smoothly in this biz and it can be easy to find yourself discouraged if circumstances conspire against you. For those of you thinking of entering this proffession I'd reccommend the words of winston churchill, "Success is going from failure to failure without a loss of enthusiam."

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Nice post RW...

 

I think what was critical in your success is the fact that you were not ignorant to the facts...

 

What happens is that most people "jump-in"...without research...based on someone elses promises. I've done this before...It's called being impulsive...and that can be dangerous; believe me I know.

 

However, we are all adults and are responsible for our actions...we should do research and know the pro's and con's of any decision we make. I know I've been "burnt" before by jumping into something that sounded incredible only to find that it all came apart.

 

In a world of advertising and mis-representation it is "buyer-beware" 100% whether you are buying a car or soliciting flight training.

 

I'm grateful for this post and many others...this site has helped me not to get "burnt" and look for the best path into this gig. Either way...there's only one way in...flight training...look for the best, do your homework, expect success and prepare for the worst.

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As a pilot with a family of four I can say that if you are making 50k a year and living meagerly on around 2000/month you should have about 1500 left over to pay the loan off in five years. (This is after taxes.) It is possible, like he said, with a little hard work and discepline to pay the loan off in 5 years. Working as a cfi no, but a newbie in the GOM starts at 50k/year. Look at the job postings and you will see. Fly as an instructor until you get the 1000 hours then go to the 50k/year job. Of course if I was single I could pay it off even sooner.

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As a pilot with a family of four I can say that if you are making 50k a year and living meagerly on around 2000/month you should have about 1500 left over to pay the loan off in five years. (This is after taxes.) It is possible, like he said, with a little hard work and discepline to pay the loan off in 5 years. Working as a cfi no, but a newbie in the GOM starts at 50k/year. Look at the job postings and you will see. Fly as an instructor until you get the 1000 hours then go to the 50k/year job. Of course if I was single I could pay it off even sooner.

 

How in the world did you make loan payments of about $900 a month on a CFI's income? I mean, if you're going to put yourself out there as a testimonial and advocate that "it is possible" how about providing some specifics.

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You say . . .

How in the world did you make loan payments of about $900 a month on a CFI's income?

 

After I said . . .

Working as a cfi no

 

So, what was your question again?

 

Besides that, I am a cfi making my loan payment of 600/month and my wife stays home, so no extra income there. According to a recent poll, http://helicopterforum.verticalreference.com/helicopterfor...?showtopic=5878, 50% of cfi's make $30,000+. Even if that poll is completely worthless to you, it doesn't matter. It's just an informal poll.

 

There is no question in my mind that if you are fairly responsible you will be able to pay a 600-900 dollar/month loan payment while making GOM entry level pay which is over 50k now. I certainly can and I am just a CFI making substantially less than 50k/year.

 

Fry I am glad that you are here to help people stop and think. Too often this does not happen. People need to weigh the risk and make a choice. If they choose to go for it then they will be just like anybody else who has ever gone for anything.

 

I have one request though, please read the post carefully and try not to argue just to argue. Thanks again for all of the time and effort that you put into these forums. I am sure that some have benefited from your thoughts and post.

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I have one request though, please read the post carefully and try not to argue just to argue. Thanks again for all of the time and effort that you put into these forums. I am sure that some have benefited from your thoughts and post.

 

Now southernweyr, ya have to understand, it fry's life passion to be this forum nay sayer and arguementitive pessemistic voice that does make valid points in the majority of his post, and who as of yet has ever divuldge whether he's ever stepped foot into an aircraft let alone pulled pitch himself. :blink:

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So, what was your question again?

 

How does someone with a $77k loan make loan payments of about $900 a month on a CFI's pay?

 

Loan payments start as soon as training is finished. It's not like a fledgling CFI has a choice to wait until he gets a job in the GOM...while he's going from 200 hours to 1,000 there is no deferral...the monthly payments are due.

 

So how does someone with a family (SSH's target market..."working adults") live on a CFI's take-home?

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Fry, maybe my first statement wasn't clear enough. "As a CFI no . . . "

 

This statement was saying that as a CFI you may not be able to make the payment but as a newbie GOMer you can.

 

Even so I will try to answer your question. Speaking for myself, a CFI who is able to make the payment, I did not accept the first 5 job offers where they weren't going to pay enough. I manage my money wisely and I don't spend money on extra's. I don't have a $900/m loan payment, it is only $600/month. Go to a school that charges less for training. My friend works and his wife works too. That's how he does it. I am sure that there are as many ways of doing it as there are different ways of becoming a pilot. Everyone has a different story with their own path and their own way of doing it. What was yours? How did you make it?

 

Loan payments start as soon as training is finished. It's not like a fledgling CFI has a choice to wait until he gets a job in the GOM...while he's going from 200 hours to 1,000 there is no deferral...the monthly payments are due.

 

 

Loan payments do not start as soon as the training is finished. They started six months after training was finished for me and I believe it is similar with other programs.

 

If you are having financial difficulty you can request a defferal beyond the six month grace period. If you are enrolled full time as a student you can defer the loan as well. So, there are things that financially responsible people can do to work with their lender.

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Fry, maybe my first statement wasn't clear enough. "As a CFI no . . . "

 

This statement was saying that as a CFI you may not be able to make the payment but as a newbie GOMer you can.

 

Loan payments do not start as soon as the training is finished. They started six months after training was finished for me and I believe it is similar with other programs.

 

If you are having financial difficulty you can request a defferal beyond the six month grace period. If you are enrolled full time as a student you can defer the loan as well. So, there are things that financially responsible people can do to work with their lender.

 

And maybe my post wasn't clear...a new CFI doesn't have a choice of not making payments while he is accumulating hours on a next-to-nothing income.

 

Sallie Mae's Career Training loan program is probably the same as any other lender's:

 

http://www.salliemae.com/get_student_loan/...training_loans/

 

And there are no six month grace period or deferral-while-a-student provisions for that kind of loan (I believe federal student loans may have these features but flight training does not qualify for those).

 

And to my way of thinking it is something less than "financially responsible" to recommend borrowing $70k and accumulating an additional seven thousand dollars a year of interest while in training and then accumulate another seven thousand while working as a CFI. In fact, that solution sounds very much like the easy-money sales pitch that Silver State makes to prospective students at their "seminars".

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...

And there are no six month grace period or deferral-while-a-student provisions for that kind of loan (I believe federal student loans may have these features but flight training does not qualify for those)...

 

??

 

Yes, SLM HAS deferral's - while a student AND post graduation

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Fry read the web page that YOU posted then tell me if you still think you are right.

 

You mean this, "...you may defer payments for up to 12 months, not to exceed the anticipated graduation date on the application."

 

The maximum deferral is 12 months...that is not the same as six months after completing training. I guess if a student finishes training in six months he then has a six month deferral after training. How many "working adult" students fall into that category? Most take a year and in many cases longer to go from zero to CFI. My point still is, a new CFI will be making high loan payments while having a low, and possibly fluctuating, income. And the same question therefore presents itself...how does a CFI with a family (the target market of SSH and other copy-cat schools) manage the $900 a month payments?

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Just to add to what fry is trying to say, which makes perfect sense to me.... I don't know if this in the norm or not. but I know of two cfi's right now, who graduated 4-8 months ago. The did deffer their loans, or only make interest only payments,, now they are both working locally, I see them often, they are both working part time and seem to be flying about 20-40 hours a month, they are paid by the hour. they both get paid for ground instruction, but since many students in a small flight school choose to do most of the ground on thier own, or wait until it is a week or so before thier test to really schedule ground lessons, these instructors do not teach much ground, maybe an hour or two a week.... they both have girlfriends with some income, but nothing to write home about. They both owe over 50k in loans, that have started for both guys this month and last month.....

 

Anyhow, the story is this, they both thought they would go to flight school, defer the loan, get out, get a full time job and still be able to live and make the monthly payment..... The fact of the matter is , both guys called the loan company to negotiate better loan payments, cause one guy had 700 and something and the other had 800 and something. they told one guy with the 800 dollar payment, that even if the company excepted a short term grace period, he would still have to pay 550 dollars a month, cause that was just the interest.. both men are very depressed and scared, cant believe they are in this situation, cannot believe that their fun is up and now they have to pay 700 dollars for twenty years now... both men cannot and will not make the full payment no matter what... they could work extra, beg, steal and borrow but they just do not have the income to give the loan company 700 dollars now, when they are only making 1500 a month.... They do not know where they are headed or what they are going to do.. all they know is that they are not getting the hours they thought they would be and they cannot make the loan payment... one has gotten a second job, but this has not helped yet... both men cannot borrow money from thier parents,, so what are they to do now.... Both are very worried about their credit and what is to be comming of their future...... ALL i KNOW IS, THIS IS NOT A GOOD FEELING TO HAVE AND IT SUCKS.

 

 

Maybe they knew this would happen and maybe they didn't, , they blame thier situation on poor pay and not enough hours... If everthing was to go perfect for the flight instructor, working a 9 hour day... he co0uld still only fly six hours and only get paid for six hours... this may not be the case if yoiu get hired on with HAI or Vortex helicopters, or some other branch that is very big and busy... I was talking to both of these guys and I said, Man you owe that money and what are you going to do, your payment is due in 13 days... They both said they were calling the loan companies and begging them to lower their payments for awile longer... but bottom line, both said they would love to make the payments but they just cant, their is no possible way for me to make this payment.....

 

Its a hard pill to swallow, but I have seen it more than just these two examples... I hate to see what their credit scores are going to be if they default on their loan for six months, while starving as a cfi in this world...

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I would be concerned if I were one of their students...

 

That's a lot of stress and pressure to be flying and teaching with...

 

$70,000 is heavy...much heavier without the ability to pay it...

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Fry read the web page that YOU posted then tell me if you still think you are right.

 

And just to thump this deceased equine one more time, this statement,

 

"...you may defer payments for up to 12 months, not to exceed the anticipated graduation date on the application"

 

is not the same as these statements:

 

"No payments are required while you are in school at least half time." and,

"Six-month grace period when no payments are required immediately following your graduation or dropping to less-than-half-time status."

 

The first relates to a Career Training loan...the kind available for flight training...the other two relate to federally guaranteed Stafford student loans...which are NOT available for flight training unless the student is enrolled in an approved institutional program...i.e., a college.

 

People selling flight training will often imply...and sometimes explictly state...that the latter two statements apply to flight training loans. In an overwhelming majority of cases they will NOT apply.

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You mean this, "...you may defer payments for up to 12 months, not to exceed the anticipated graduation date on the application."

 

The maximum deferral is 12 months...that is not the same as six months after completing training. I guess if a student finishes training in six months he then has a six month deferral after training. How many "working adult" students fall into that category? Most take a year and in many cases longer to go from zero to CFI. My point still is, a new CFI will be making high loan payments while having a low, and possibly fluctuating, income. And the same question therefore presents itself...how does a CFI with a family (the target market of SSH and other copy-cat schools) manage the $900 a month payments?

 

You missed the forebearance option.

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You missed the forebearance option.

 

Forebearance is not an "option" it's a last resort. It's something a borrower would consider as an alternative to bankruptcy.

 

http://www.salliemae.com/after_graduation/...forbearance.htm

 

First, it's not going to be cheap...there will probably be fees and possibly a resetting of the interest rate higher. It is also likely the borrower's credit report will reflect the need for the forebearance resulting in a long term impact on his credit score. And finally it is just piling interest onto an already burdensome debt load (paying the interest only is not likely for a borrow who cannot make the principal and interest payments because the difference on a $77k loan is less than $200).

 

Anyone considering a loan who thinks that applying for forebearance later is going to be an option is already in trouble.

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Fry...

 

How would you "get in" to the helicopter industry???

 

Or would you NOT???

 

Simple enough question...don't you thinik???

 

BTW...that means YOU fry...

 

What would YOU do?

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Forebearance is not an "option" it's a last resort. It's something a borrower would consider as an alternative to bankruptcy.

 

http://www.salliemae.com/after_graduation/...forbearance.htm

 

First, it's not going to be cheap...there will probably be fees and possibly a resetting of the interest rate higher. It is also likely the borrower's credit report will reflect the need for the forebearance resulting in a long term impact on his credit score. And finally it is just piling interest onto an already burdensome debt load (paying the interest only is not likely for a borrow who cannot make the principal and interest payments because the difference on a $77k loan is less than $200).

 

Anyone considering a loan who thinks that applying for forebearance later is going to be an option is already in trouble.

 

 

Well, it is an option because you choose to do it or not - no one is holding a gun to your head. Fry, you posted previously SLM did not allow deferments or delays yet we have shown you 3 different ways to delay payments with SLM. Give it up!

 

Additionally, forebearance does NOT go on your credit report in any way shape or form & does NOT effect your credit score; payments are simply tacked on to the back of your loan. Secondly, your rate does NOT increase as a result - rates at SLM are adjusted as the prime rate is adjusted. I know two people who have had to take a forebeance with SLM AND Federal Student Aid & in no way were their rates or credit effected. PLEASE do your research before trying to frighten people.

 

By the way, are you a pilot?

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I wish there was a forum like this to scare people away from borrowing money for college because one might not easily land your dream job with it. But seriously, you just have to understand that some people can make it work and some can't. There is not a 100% success rate for ANY career training program, why are we trying to make helicopters the first? TOTAL COMMITMENT.

 

I am paying on an undergrad degree that I don't use for work and I just suck it up and write the check every month along with everything else. It's a powerful degree from a great university but I want to fly and a day job just doesn't give me a schedule conducive to training or studying. I'm broke and I still manage to pay my bills, INCLUDING my $550/mo flight training payment that I made from day 1 of training and plan to at least triple with my first salaried gig. I believe in getting the biggest bang for my buck, so I work nights at a restaurant and make $2k-$3k a month minimum, and I only actually WORK about 25hrs/wk. Leaves plenty of time for flying 6-7days/wk and studying ~4hrs/day. And I still get to sleep 7hrs a night! And this is not something I "fell into", so please refrain from suggesting that. I moved to a whole new city across the country for training, left everything I know and love, started from scratch with absolutely NOTHING but my car and my dog. I made a TOTAL COMMITMENT (the key phrase here, some posters are forgetting..) and had a plan before I jumped in. Now it's just a matter of execution.

 

I can DEFINITELY do the math to see that a minimum wage job (or even close) would not allow you to afford a training payment. So get a better job! Move to a school that can offer full-time hours. Work nights as well! Apply for any and every CFI opening in the country, no matter how far you have to move! TOTAL COMMITMENT. Part of the planning to make this work is 1) knowing you have the resources to support yourself-e.g. skills for a side job that's significantly more than minimum wage or a free place to live and eat, and 2) knowing WITHOUT A DOUBT that you are mentally prepared to sacrifice other things in your life (location, relationships, material possessions, food ~ haha) to get your career where you ultimately want it (whether that be eventually back in your hometown or maybe above the six-figure salary mark, or to travel the world, or to fly the biggest helos out there, whatever your ultimate goal with this happens to be). It's not that other careers don't often require the same sacrifices, they do! Helos just require them of you simultaneously and repeatedly. I know lots of successfully employed (important modifiers here I think) drivers and one thing they all share is TOTAL COMMITMENT. There are no shortcuts; you can't succeed in this industry without it.

 

That's my 25cents.

 

Keep it spinny side up folks... ;)

Edited by heligirl03
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