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How Does AOPA Choose Its Lenders?

Aviation financing is a specialty niche. Most commercial banks are unfamiliar with its nuances, so that itself is a limiting factor for lenders. 

Additionally, many banks that do aircraft loans don’t have an aviation department, they only make exceptions for some customers, which is limiting for their expertise on airplane acquisition.

Of those that do lend, most focus on larger, two-crew, turbine aircraft. By contrast, between 80%-90% of our members intend to fly their own aircraft. They’re coming to us to finance aircraft for personal, not commercial, use. That means the big-ticket turbine financers typically aren’t a good fit, which also decreases the number of aviation finance options available to them.

Add to that, over 60% of the loans that we facilitated last year were for first-time buyers. These members were new to the market and looking for trusted sources to guide them toward the best deal for their situation, not an entity only interested in doing the loan. They knew and trusted us. They knew AOPA Finance would advocate for them. For those reasons, AOPA Finance works with a select group of about a dozen lenders, who are committed to serve our members and all the markets we serve.

AOPA Finance begins every transaction process with an in-depth conversation with the member. The goal is to make sure we know what’s most important: from the aircraft category and class to the intended mission profile. Then we match that information with each member’s financial picture. The end result of these discussions are options that best fit the member’s specific circumstances.

It is true there are competing finance companies that advertise in aviation publications and on aviation websites. From our experience, it is not always true that a lender advertising next to an airplane listing piquing your interest will be able to finance that aircraft. Nor might that lender be able to structure the best financing package for your unique situation.

Because of our diverse and stable financing partners, AOPA Finance is able to locate competitive rates based on certain dollar amounts or length of term. And if a member has complicated financials, they may need an asset-based lender—an even smaller specialty niche--we can provide great options on lenders there too.

Great advice. Great rates. From helpful and responsive reps you can trust. Three good reasons to turn to AOPA Finance when you are buying or refinancing an airplane. If you need a dependable source of financing with people who are on your side, just call 800.62.PLANE (800.627.5263), or click here to request a quote.

Adam Meredith
Adam Meredith
President of AOPA Aviation Finance Company
Adam Meredith, the longtime president of AOPA Aviation Finance Co., died after a long battle with cancer in December 2023. He is remembered for his passion for helping fellow pilots, leading a team devoted to putting flight training and aircraft ownership within everyone’s reach.

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