How AOPA Finance Navigates Aircraft Loan Negotiations

AOPA Finance

Members regularly ask us what the best strategy is for negotiating the ideal financing package during an aircraft purchase. Our advice: Talk with us first. Once we get a sense of what’s important to you, we can explore ways to negotiate within the standard products offered by the lenders.


Aviation loans are not infinitely customizable. Just as car manufacturers offer limited trim levels and colors, aircraft loans are limited in scope. That means that when negotiating with lenders to get a more favorable loan structure you are limited to what the lender has available to offer. AOPA Finance has the experience and relationships to be able to tell you exactly what the offerings are. We can strategize within those limits, based upon what's most important to you.


For example, if you’re financing a $150,000 airplane and it's less than 50 years old, and you're going to be the pilot, the standard loan terms will probably include a 15% minimum down payment and a 20-year maximum term. Can you change the term? Sure, if you'd rather do a 15-year term instead. Can you go 25 years? No. Can you increase the down payment to 20%? No problem. Can you reduce it to 10%? Nope.


Depending on your specific situation, a 20-year term might make sense. Or it might be better to go with a 15-year term. In certain circumstances, a 15-year amortization with a five-year balloon might get you a better interest rate than accepting a standard, fully amortizing 20-year term and 15% down.


There are some lenders whose standard programs specify that if you pay more than 25% down, you’ll get an automatic rate reduction. And some lenders will reduce your rate if you set up automatic monthly payments.


Another place where AOPA Finance has had good success is negotiating with lenders on behalf of buyers who wish to purchase an airplane that doesn’t fit any of the standard profiles. Maybe it has some damage history, is missing some logbooks, is a unique aircraft, or maybe it's a restoration. Any of these characteristics could be problematic for lenders.


We have longstanding relationships with lenders. With those relationships, we can often find a way to get you what you want, even if your situation doesn’t fit perfectly within the standard loan products aircraft lenders offer.


Great advice. Great rates. Helpful and responsive reps you can trust. Three good reasons to

turn to AOPA Aviation 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.

AOPA Finance Team
Knowledgeable and friendly aircraft finance professionals you can trust to find the best terms for your financing needs. Our goal is to make aircraft ownership more affordable and accessible to pilots.
Topics: AOPA Aviation Finance Co, Financing

Related Articles