Deciding which airplane best fits you or your company's mission is complex enough, let alone how to finance it. There is a surprising number of variables that go into an aircraft financing package —variables that change and that a conventional lender will not know or may not be able to handle. That's why it's best to seek the advice of a highly experienced aircraft finance broker, like AOPA Aviation Finance.
We take a holistic approach to every deal. For us, it’s not just about your credit score or your assets or your mission. It’s about taking the time to listen carefully to you. From there, we can determine which, of all these things that are important to you, are the most important and in what order.
Will this be an asset-based transaction, or will it be based on the more conventional credit analysis strategy? Is speed of the essence? Do you have the wherewithal to pay cash and then assume a reimbursement loan after the fact? Is your interest rate more important than the down payment, or is term length paramount? The breadth and depth of our experience allows us to leverage our lender relationships in your favor.
Despite what a single-source lender might tell you, no two transactions are the same, even with the same purchaser on a different aircraft. AOPA Finance once worked with a borrower who was very financially astute. He’d purchased a PC-12 and decided eight months after buying it to swap it out for a TBM. At first glance, these were two roughly comparable aircraft. Both were newer, single-engine turboprops, relatively close in age. To the less-experienced broker, mirroring the first transaction for the second might have seemed the right way to go.
But in just those eight months, the interest rate environment had changed and so did the appetite for business of the initial lender. We knew our client was extremely interest rate sensitive. On this second transaction, the first lender was no longer the best option. We explored our relationships with many lenders before getting our client a better deal with a different lender.
That’s just one example of many where our depth of experience paid off for our client. If you work with a national direct lender who does aircraft financing, odds are pretty good that the financing package you will be offered may not be the best fit for you. Odds are you’re going to be offered their standard package. We know this from clients who came to us after having suboptimal experiences with national direct lenders.
Even savvy buyers who may have previously negotiated their own aircraft purchase might have missed some opportunities by going alone. For example, unlike a real estate transaction, it’s a typical market arrangement for the buyer and the seller to split the cost of escrow when purchasing an aircraft. Without a broker, a buyer may miss out on being made aware of savings opportunities like that.
You say you don’t need to finance? AOPA Finance can counsel you in those “must have” situations, as well.
Let’s say a person acts impulsively and pays cash for a Gulfstream once owned by their favorite comedian without doing due diligence. Let’s say their plan is to get a reimbursement loan after the purchase to cover operational costs. But if that person discovers, post-sale, one or all of the aforementioned things is wrong with the newly acquired plane, then the airplane’s damage history—physical or legal—will severely limit the number of lenders willing to negotiate a reimbursement loan. Now the whole purpose for acquiring the jet is jeopardized. Worst case scenario, it might have to be sold just to recoup liquidity
We know a buyer in a hurry will often let their emotions take over, sometimes preventing clear thinking. The buyer wants a particular aircraft and they fear somebody else might get it first. A buyer who gets caught up and moves too quickly without having someone who can act as a safety check will likely overlook important things, such as:
AOPA Finance is here to make sure you avoid such costly, time-consuming scenarios. Whether it’s reminding you of the mission, connecting you to the right tax consulting company, or coordinating with the title and escrow company to get the escrow set up, AOPA Finance is able to facilitate all facets of the deal.
Through it all, we maintain constant communication with your sales broker. We instill confidence in them that someone on the financing side is going to get the deal done.