Financing is not just for aircraft purchases

AOPA Aviation Finance Co. can help with upgrades, overhauls, or even a new engine

January 9, 2014

When you think of aircraft financing, you most likely think of obtaining a loan to buy a new or previously owned aircraft. But with the cost of many upgrades to an existing aircraft running into the thousands of dollars, AOPA recognized a need in its members to finance these aircraft renovations, which for many are cost-prohibitive.

AOPA Aviation Finance can secure a loan for members for engine overhauls, avionics upgrades, paint, and interior work—pretty much anything you want to do, including a glass panel or even a new engine. Adam Meredith, president of AOPA’s Aviation Finance Co. says, “You just have to make a note in the application what the purpose of the loan is.”

Meredith stresses the flexibility of these loans. He says you can apply before, during, or after the work is complete. He says a routine amount for these loans is between $20,000 and $40,000—an amount, he says, is too small for many conventional financing companies. That makes aircraft owners turn to credit cards or a home equity line of credit to finance aircraft upgrades.

Applying for the loan is easy. You must provide typical financial information along with tax returns. A lender will require some sort of invoice or cost estimate and typically pre-approve the work. Yet, Meredith adds, “In some circumstances, you can get a loan even after the work is done.”

Meredith says that AOPA will place your request with several of its dozen lenders depending on a number of conditions—the amount, the purpose, and your own financial history to ensure you get the best deal. Loans can be amortized from seven years to 20 years, depending on the amount. Meredith adds, “A bare minimum loan would be $10,000.”

To start the process, contact the AOPA Aviation Finance Co. at 800/62-PLANE (75263), or visit the website. Their friendly staff will speak your language and take the confusion out of securing a loan to upgrade a current airplane. Don’t forget that using AOPA Aviation Finance not only helps you, but also helps AOPA in its mission to keep GA airports open and support your right to fly.