Can You Finance Aircraft? Exploring Your Options to Own a Private Plane

If you’ve ever dreamed of owning your own aircraft, you’ve likely wondered whether you can finance it. The truth is that there are a number of options available to individuals looking to invest in their own plane. However, before you start researching the various finance options, it’s important to get clear on what type of aircraft best suits your lifestyle and budget.

Once you know what type of aircraft you want to finance, it’s time to explore your financing options. There are several ways to finance an aircraft, including through traditional banks, aircraft financing companies, or through private lenders. The key is to find a financing option that best meets your unique needs and circumstances.

Whatever finance option you choose, it’s important to do your due diligence and carefully consider all of the terms, fees, and interest rates associated with the loan. Investing in an aircraft can be a significant financial commitment, so taking the time to do your research and finding the right financing solution can make all the difference in your overall satisfaction and enjoyment of your aircraft investment.

Aircraft Financing Options

When it comes to financing an aircraft, there are a variety of options available to potential buyers. Each option has its own set of advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to carefully consider which one best fits your unique situation.

Loan Options

  • Traditional Bank Financing: Many banks offer aircraft financing options, typically requiring a significant down payment and collateral. This option may have higher interest rates compared to other types of loans.
  • Dealer or Manufacturer Financing: Aircraft manufacturers often offer financing options directly to buyers. This option may offer lower interest rates, but may require a larger down payment.
  • Private Lenders: Private lenders may be willing to finance an aircraft purchase, but often have stricter lending requirements and higher interest rates compared to traditional banks.

Leasing Options

Leasing an aircraft may be an ideal option for those who do not want to purchase an aircraft outright or require a shorter-term solution.

  • Operating Leases: With this type of lease, the lessor owns the aircraft. The lessee pays a monthly fee to use the aircraft for a specified period of time. At the end of the lease, the lessee typically has the option to purchase the aircraft or return it to the lessor.
  • Finance Leases: Similar to an operating lease, the lessee makes payments for a specified period of time. However, at the end of the lease, the lessee is contractually obligated to purchase the aircraft at a previously agreed-upon price.
  • Wet Leases: With a wet lease, the lessee pays for the use of both the aircraft and the crew. This option is often used by airlines as a way to add additional capacity during peak travel times.

Other Financing Options

There are other financing options available to potential aircraft buyers, including:

  • Vendor Financing: This type of financing is offered by the seller of the aircraft. The seller acts as the lender and may offer more flexible payment terms than traditional banks.
  • Crowdfunding: This relatively new financing option allows multiple individuals to invest in an aircraft purchase.


When it comes to financing an aircraft, it’s important to evaluate all of the available options and consider your specific needs. Each option has its own set of advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to choose the one that best fits your unique situation. Whether you choose to purchase or lease an aircraft, with careful planning and research, you can find a financing option that will help you achieve your aviation goals.

Financing OptionAdvantagesDisadvantages
Traditional Bank FinancingMay offer competitive interest ratesMay require significant down payment and collateral
Dealer or Manufacturer FinancingMay offer lower interest ratesMay require larger down payment
Private LendersMay be more flexible than traditional banksMay have stricter lending requirements and higher interest rates
Operating LeasesOffers flexibility and shorter commitmentLessee does not gain equity in the aircraft
Finance LeasesOften provides lower monthly payments compared to other leasing optionsLessee is contractually obligated to purchase the aircraft at lease end
Wet LeasesAllows for both aircraft and crew to be leasedPrimarily used for commercial airlines and not feasible for private pilots
Vendor FinancingMay offer more flexibility than traditional banksMay have higher interest rates than other financing options
CrowdfundingAllows multiple investors to contribute to purchaseMay not offer enough funding for higher value aircraft

Overall, with the various financing options available, it’s important to research and understand each one. By taking the time to choose the best option for your needs, you will be able to make a purchase that aligns with your goals, and you will be able to enjoy your investment for years to come.

Factors That Affect Aircraft Financing

Buying an aircraft can be an expensive venture, especially if you intend to buy one that is brand new. While many people with deep pockets can afford to pay outright for their aircraft, most others need to find a way to finance their purchase. However, certain factors can affect aircraft financing, and understanding them is crucial for anyone who wants to get financing for their aircraft purchase. Here are some of these factors:

Credit Score

  • Your credit score plays an important role in determining the interest rate you will be offered for aircraft financing
  • The higher your credit score, the better interest rate you can expect, and vice versa
  • If you have a low credit score, lenders may view you as a high-risk borrower and either deny you financing or offer you unfavorable terms

Age and Condition of the Aircraft

The age and condition of the aircraft you want to finance can also impact your ability to secure financing. Older aircraft are often more difficult to finance since lenders view them as a higher risk. The overall condition of the aircraft, including its airworthiness, its maintenance history, and whether it has been involved in any accidents or incidents, also plays a role in determining financing terms.

Loan to Value Ratio

The loan to value (LTV) ratio is the amount of the loan compared to the value of the aircraft. Lenders use this ratio to determine how much risk they are taking on. The lower the LTV ratio, the better the terms of the loan.

LTV RatioFinancing Terms
Less than 60%Low-interest rates, longer repayment terms
60% to 80%Higher interest rates, shorter repayment terms
More than 80%May be difficult to secure financing or require a cosigner


Most lenders require collateral when financing an aircraft. Collateral could be the aircraft itself or other assets like property or vehicles. The value of the collateral is a key factor in determining the loan terms. The higher the value of the collateral, the lower the interest rate you can expect. However, if you default on the loan, the lender will seize the collateral to recoup their investment.

Types of Financing Available for Aircraft

When it comes to financing an aircraft, there are several different options available. Some of the most common types of financing include:

  • Traditional Bank Loans – These loans are offered by financial institutions and typically require collateral and a strong credit score. Interest rates can vary depending on the lender and the borrower’s financial history.
  • Manufacturer Financing – This option is available through the aircraft manufacturer and may offer lower interest rates than traditional bank loans. However, it may also require a larger down payment or have other restrictions.
  • Leasing – Leasing an aircraft can allow for lower monthly payments and more flexibility in terms of upgrading or switching to a different aircraft. However, it may also come with restrictions on usage and ownership.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Financing

When deciding on the best financing option for your aircraft purchase, it’s important to consider several factors:

  • Interest rates and fees
  • Down payment requirements
  • Loan or lease terms
  • Credit score and financial history
  • Purpose and usage of the aircraft
  • Ownership and tax implications

Comparison of Financing Options

Here’s a comparison table of some of the key differences and similarities between traditional bank loans, manufacturer financing, and leasing:

Traditional Bank LoansManufacturer FinancingLeasing
Collateral RequirementsTypically requiredMay be requiredPossible, but not always required
Down Payment RequirementsVaries by lenderMay be higher than leasingCan be lower than loans
Interest RatesVaries by lender and credit scoreMay be lower than loansCan be lower than loans and manufacturer financing
OwnershipBorrower owns aircraftBorrower owns aircraftLessor owns aircraft
FlexibilityMay have restrictionsMay have restrictionsMore flexible than loans and manufacturer financing

By weighing the pros and cons of each financing option and considering your individual financial situation and needs, you can make an informed decision on the best way to finance your aircraft purchase.

Pros and Cons of Financing an Aircraft

Financing an aircraft can offer a variety of benefits, but it’s important to consider both the pros and cons before diving into a significant purchase. Here are some key considerations to keep in mind:

  • Pro: Access to better aircraft. Financing can provide the ability to purchase a higher quality aircraft than you may be able to afford otherwise.
  • Pro: Tax advantages. Aircraft can be depreciated over a shorter period than many other assets, which can result in significant tax benefits.
  • Pro: Preserves cash flow. By financing an aircraft, you don’t have to pay the entire purchase price upfront. This can help preserve cash flow for other expenses or investments.

While financing an aircraft can have its benefits, there are several drawbacks to keep in mind:

  • Con: Higher overall cost. Financing an aircraft means paying interest and fees on top of the purchase price, resulting in a higher overall cost.
  • Con: Requires collateral. Often, lenders require the aircraft itself as collateral, which can be a risky proposition if you’re unable to make payments.
  • Con: Ongoing maintenance expenses. Even after the purchase is complete, aircraft require regular maintenance to remain airworthy. Financing payments may make it difficult to budget for these ongoing expenses.

When considering financing an aircraft, it’s important to weigh these pros and cons carefully to determine whether it’s the right choice for your needs and financial situation. If you do decide to finance, be sure to shop around to find the best terms and interest rates available.

Aircraft financing can be a complex process, so it’s important to work with experts who have experience in aviation finance. They can help guide you through the process and ensure that you have all the necessary information to make an informed decision.

Access to better aircraftHigher overall cost
Tax advantagesRequires collateral
Preserves cash flowOngoing maintenance expenses

Ultimately, financing an aircraft can be a smart choice for those who need it, but it’s important to weigh the benefits against the drawbacks and understand the risks and responsibilities involved.

The Role of Credit Score in Aircraft Financing

When it comes to financing an aircraft, your credit score plays a significant role in determining your eligibility and interest rates. Here’s what you need to know about credit scores and aircraft financing:

  • A higher credit score translates to better financing options, as lenders view borrowers with good credit as less risky and more likely to repay their loans on time. In turn, borrowers with lower credit scores may face higher interest rates and more stringent loan requirements to compensate for the perceived risk.
  • Most lenders have a minimum credit score requirement for aircraft financing, typically in the mid-600s or higher.
  • It’s important to maintain a consistent payment history and keep your overall debt levels low in order to improve your credit score over time.

If you’re planning to finance an aircraft, it’s important to review your credit report and address any errors or discrepancies before applying for a loan. You can obtain a free copy of your credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus once a year at

Here’s a breakdown of how credit scores generally impact aircraft financing:

Credit Score RangeTypical Interest RatesLoan Terms and Availability
750+3-5%Lowest rates and most favorable loan terms
700-7494-6%Favorable loan terms, but rates may be slightly higher than those with excellent credit
650-6995-8%May require higher down payment and collateral, and loan terms may be less favorable than those with higher credit scores
600-6498-12%May require additional collateral and/or higher down payment, and may have fewer loan options available
Below 600Unavailable or extremely high ratesMay not be eligible for aircraft financing or may require significant collateral and down payment

Keep in mind that these are general guidelines, and your individual situation and the lender’s requirements may vary. Ultimately, it’s important to shop around and compare offers from multiple lenders to ensure you’re getting the best possible financing for your aircraft.

How to Find Lenders for Aircraft Financing

When planning to purchase an aircraft, financing is one of the biggest hurdles you will face. But with the right approach, you can find lenders who can help you acquire your dream plane. Here are some ways to find lenders for aircraft financing:

  • Traditional lenders: Banks and credit unions are good sources for aircraft financing. You can start your search with the financial institutions where you have existing accounts or those that specifically offer aviation-related loans. These lenders can provide you with the best rates and terms, but you will need a sound financial profile and credit history to qualify for their loans.
  • Online lenders: There are many online lenders that specialize in aircraft financing. These lenders can offer competitive rates and loan terms, and you can apply for a loan from the comfort of your own home. However, be wary of online lending scams and do your research to ensure the credibility of the lender.
  • Aircraft dealers: Aircraft dealers can help you with financing options when purchasing planes from their inventory. They usually have links with lenders who provide loans for their customers and can offer you competitive rates and loan terms. However, make sure to do your own research and compare the rates and terms offered by their lenders to ensure that you are getting a good deal.

Once you’ve identified potential lenders, there are several factors to consider before choosing one:

  • Interest rates: The interest rate is the amount you will pay on top of the principal amount to the lender. It’s important to compare rates from different lenders to get the best deal.
  • Loan term: The loan term is the length of time you have to repay the loan. Longer loan terms mean lower monthly payments but more interest charges over time.
  • Down payment: The down payment is the upfront amount you will need to pay towards the aircraft purchase. A larger down payment means a lower loan amount and potentially better rates and terms.
  • Credit score: Your credit score will impact your ability to secure a loan and the rates and terms offered by lenders. Make sure to check your credit score before approaching lenders and work on improving it if necessary.

Before finalizing your loan, make sure to read through all the terms and conditions and clarify any questions you have with your lender. Once you have secured your financing, you can start enjoying the freedom and adventure of owning your own aircraft.

Lender NameInterest RateLoan TermDown Payment
XYZ Bank4.5%10 years20%
ABC Credit Union5.2%15 years25%
Aircraft Lending Corp.3.9%7 years15%

The above table shows a sample comparison of different lenders. However, keep in mind that rates and terms can vary depending on several factors, so make sure to do your own research before making a decision.

Common Pitfalls to Avoid in Aircraft Financing

When it comes to financing an aircraft, there are a number of things that can go wrong if you’re not careful. While securing financing for a plane can be a challenge, avoiding these common pitfalls can help make the process smoother and ensure that you’re making the best financial decisions for your situation. Here are some of the most important things to keep in mind.

  • Not getting pre-approved: Before starting your search for an aircraft, it’s important to get pre-approved for financing. This will give you a better idea of your budget and what you can realistically afford, as well as give you more bargaining power when negotiating with sellers.
  • Not checking your credit score: Your credit score will play a big role in your ability to secure financing and the interest rates you’re offered. Before applying for aircraft financing, be sure to check your credit report and address any potential issues.
  • Not considering all costs: While the purchase price of an aircraft may be your biggest expense, it’s important to factor in all of the associated costs, such as insurance, maintenance, and storage. Make sure you have a clear picture of all costs before committing to a purchase.
  • Choosing the wrong loan term: The length of your loan term will impact your monthly payments and the total amount you’ll pay in interest, so it’s important to choose the right term for your situation. A shorter loan term may result in higher monthly payments, but less interest paid over time, while a longer loan term may make monthly payments more manageable but result in higher overall costs.
  • Not negotiating: Just like buying a car or a house, there’s often room to negotiate when purchasing an aircraft. Don’t be afraid to negotiate the purchase price or finance terms to get a better deal.
  • Not comparing multiple lenders: There are many lenders out there that offer aircraft financing, so it’s important to shop around and compare rates and terms from multiple lenders. This will help you get the best deal and avoid any hidden fees or charges.
  • Not understanding the terms: Before signing any loan documents, make sure you fully understand all of the terms and conditions. If there’s anything you’re unsure about, don’t be afraid to ask questions or consult with a financial advisor.


Financing an aircraft can be a complex process, but by keeping these common pitfalls in mind and taking the time to do your research, you can ensure that you’re making the best financial decisions for your situation. Whether you’re a private pilot looking to purchase your own aircraft or a company in need of a fleet, avoiding these common mistakes can help make the process smoother and more successful in the long run.

Common Pitfalls to AvoidWhat to Do Instead
Not getting pre-approvedGet pre-approved before starting your search for an aircraft.
Not checking your credit scoreCheck your credit report and address any issues before applying for financing.
Not considering all costsFactor in all associated costs before committing to a purchase.
Choosing the wrong loan termChoose the right loan term for your situation based on your budget and interest rates.
Not negotiatingDon’t be afraid to negotiate the purchase price or terms.
Not comparing multiple lendersShop around and compare rates and terms from multiple lenders.
Not understanding the termsMake sure you fully understand all loan terms before signing any documents.

Can You Finance Aircraft?

Are you thinking of buying an airplane, but don’t have enough cash on hand to pay for it outright? Financing an aircraft might be the solution you’re looking for. To help you better understand this option, we’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions:

1. What options are available for financing an aircraft?

There are several financing options available, including traditional bank loans, private lenders, and aircraft finance companies.

2. What factors determine the interest rate for aircraft financing?

Interest rates can vary depending on factors such as the borrower’s credit score, the type of aircraft being financed, and the loan terms.

3. What is the typical down payment required for aircraft financing?

The down payment required for aircraft financing can vary, but it is typically around 15-20% of the aircraft’s purchase price.

4. What types of aircraft can be financed?

Most types of aircraft can be financed, including single-engine planes, helicopters, and jets.

5. Is it easier to finance a new or used aircraft?

A new aircraft may be easier to finance since it will have a higher resale value, but used aircraft can also be financed. However, the interest rates may be higher for used aircraft.

6. What is the loan term for aircraft financing?

The loan term for aircraft financing usually ranges from 10-20 years, depending on the lender and the borrower’s creditworthiness.

Closing Thoughts

We hope that this article has answered some of your questions about financing an aircraft. When considering this option, it’s important to do your research, compare lenders, and read your loan agreement carefully before signing. Thank you for reading, and come back soon for more helpful insights.