UNDERSTAND YOUR FINANCIAL PICTURE
Buying an aircraft is more like buying a house than a car. Your budget needs to work within your financial situation. Find out why.Learn More
APPLY AND GET APPROVED
Learn how your account executive will be your best resource, and will be with you every step of the way to purchasing your first aircraft.Learn More
NEGOTIATE THE PURCHASE
Ensure you're getting the right aircraft at the right price and that fits your budget. Learn what you need to know about aircraft valuations, the pre-purchase inspection and the purchase and sales agreement.Learn More
CLOSE ON YOUR FIRST AIRCRAFT
You are just a few steps away from owning your first aircraft. Make sure you don't miss anything. Read more to get your checklist.Learn More
Set Your Budget
Set your budget according to what works with your financial situation before you get your heart set on a particular aircraft.
If you are still looking for the right aircraft, buying what you need is important to keep in mind. Here's an article that might be helpful.use the loan calculator
ORGANIZE YOUR PAPERWORK
Gather your tax returns, business financials and personal net worth information; we’ll need it for your loan application. Are you an employee or a business owner? The simpler your income documentation, the easier it will be to get a decision. Need help coordinating with your CPA? We can help with that too.Contact us
REVIEW YOUR TIMELINE
It's important to understand the timeline of an aircraft loan. Typically it takes 1-2 business days to be approved by a lender once we have submitted your completed application. From there, it will take another 5-7 business days to close the loan. If you have a complicated financial package, or more than one partner purchasing the airplane with you, it may take a little longer. Please plan accordingly so you don't get yourself into a stressful situation with the seller. Also, wait to make any travel plans to pick up the airplane until your lender has confirmed the closing date.
REVIEW AND SUBMITTAL
When your package is submitted, your AE and an AOPA financial analyst will review it. They'll select the lender they think will work best for your needs. But, if they feel the financial requirements haven't been met, or that the aircraft doesn't meet lender requirements, they'll discuss with you the areas of likely concern and you can then choose to withdraw the loan before it gets submitted and potentially declined. By working with us, you get the expertise of our staff to match you with the right lender with the best terms and highest likelihood of approval.
Getting pre-approved for an aircraft loan is one way to find out if you can afford the aircraft you want. Getting pre-approved tells you how much you have to work with, can get you a faster closing time on your loan approval, locks the rate in for 30 days and is good for 90 days. All you need is an idea of the year, make and model you're interested in, we'll do the rest.Consider pre-approvals
TRACK YOUR LOAN'S PROGRESS
We have a loan status portal that allows you to login to review your loan status, as well as upload any additional documents you may need to submit for your loan package. The portal will also email you with real time updates about your loan. You won't have to guess what stage your loan is in; from "Application Incomplete" to "AOPA Analysis" to "Lender Approved" you will be informed of your loan's status at all times.
Why the value of an aircraft matters
There are important steps to take now, to ensure that you pay a fair price for the aircraft. Understand what factors contribute to the value of an aircraft, establish an agreement with the seller so that everyone, and the aircraft, are protected. After you have completed the pre-buy inspection you will have a much better sense of exactly what the aircraft is worth.Learn how airplane values are determined
Schedule A Pre-Buy inspection
Once you’ve been approved, it’s time to schedule a pre-buy inspection. Make sure you know exactly what you’re getting and have a professional thoroughly review the aircraft.Learn the do’s and don’ts of pre-buy inspections
PURCHASE & SALES AGREEMENTDownload Sample Agreement
These binding legal documents typically set the sales price and conditions including things like the amount of time the buyer has to complete a pre-buy inspection, who pays for what, terms of a deposit and who pays to move the airplane. Most lenders will require an executed purchase and sales agreement in order to fully understand the transaction.Learn how to craft a mutually beneficial sales purchase agreement
INSURE WITH AOPA INSURANCE
You must secure insurance and name the lender as the "loss payee". While limit requirements for liability coverage are not specified, both hull and liability coverage are required. AOPA members can get great rates through AOPA Insurance; ask your AE to connect you with an agent to get a quote early in the process.
What Fees & Additional Costs are involved
There are hard costs involved in closing the purchase and loan documentation, including background checks, credit bureau checks, overnight fees, loan documentation, and legal review. There are also a variety of fees, including escrow and lender fees and closing costs which vary based on the aircraft purchase price.
As long as you work with AOPA Aviation Finance, though, you won’t pay any broker fees!
Tips to Expedite ClosingDownload Checklist
Select a closing date and begin sending documents required to close.
Locate a notary for documents that will typically be required by the lender.
Allow time for overnight packages for the documents that need a “wet signature”.
Document Requirement To CloseDownload Checklist
Properly executed Bill of Sale
Properly executed Application for Registration
Properly executed security agreement
ALL loan documents need to be received by lender and reviewed before closing can occur.
Beware of common issues that delay closingDownload Checklist
Clouds on title (past issues not previously addressed by seller).
Lien release from seller (some lenders can cause difficulties and slow the process).
Airworthiness Directives (ADs) needing to be addressed take longer than anticipated.
Parts delivery delayed.
Complete logs are typically required (some exceptions for aged aircraft).
Be sure to start the insurance application process early on so it is in place before the planned closing date.AOPA Insurance Services