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Climb Credit introduces loans just for flight training

Feb. 08, 2022
3 min read
a Cessna 172M Skyhawk taking-off
Climb Credit introduces loans just for flight training
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One of the biggest barriers to entry for aspiring pilots is the cost of training.

Typically, it can cost well over $100,000 to go from zero flight hours to a commercial pilot license, the type of pilot rating that puts potential pilots on the path to earn the additional experience needed before heading to the airlines.

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With the U.S. facing a pilot shortage, one company now aims to fill a lending gap and is introducing a financing product that is geared specifically toward those who are learning to fly.

The fittingly named Climb Credit on Tuesday announced a new loan that is available with deferment and repayment terms that reflect the realities of flight training for many aspiring airline pilots.

With Climb's entry into the flight training market, it is competing against student lending giant Sallie Mae, which provides vocational loans for students at a number of larger, structured flight schools, including flight training giant ATP Flight School and the new United Aviate Academy.

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But Climb expects to have more students be eligible for its loan than are available for Sallie Mae. It hopes to add smaller, mom-and-pop flight schools to the list of institutions that offer its lending product. These small flights schools are a popular way for aspiring pilots to learn how to fly. It also hopes to add larger flight training providers such as ATP in the future.

Climb is offering an initial 12-month deferment of payments as students train and is then offering a 14-year term for repayment of the loan.

More: How a pilot shortage could leave travelers with higher fares and fewer options

“Our products are aimed at helping students attend programs that are likely to pay them back in the form of a strong and stable salary and career,” Angela (Ceresnie) Prince, Climb Credit's CEO, said in a statement. “With the huge need for pilots in the coming years, and the strong salary potential that this career offers, we were excited to build a financial product to specifically meet the needs of future pilots and the schools that train them.”

As the U.S. continues to face its pilot shortage, more companies like Climb will likely jump in to offer more lending products to aspiring pilots in order to bring down the cost of flight training.

Featured image by UIG via Getty Images
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