March 20, 2014
By AOPA Member Products staff
Cutting out the middleman might not be the best idea if you’re looking to finance an aircraft. When financing an aircraft, you’d be wise to enlist the support of a middleman—in this case, a financing brokerage firm. Using a brokerage firm can save you hours of time and potentially save you thousands of dollars over the life of a loan. Here are six tips to keep in mind.
Even if you’ve bought an airplane before, it’s tough to stay current on all the deals available. If this is your first airplane purchase, the terms, conditions, and ins and outs of financing can make your head spin. When you have a broker on your side, that broker can explain the process to you in plain English and answer any questions immediately when they arise.
With a variety of choices in financing, you’ll want to shop around to get the best deal. Call a typical bank or financing company, and what’s the first thing you’ll hear? An electronic voice telling you to “listen to all options.” It always seems what you really want isn’t quite covered by the options. You can waste precious time, not to mention the aggravation, just working your way through the various phone trees. Sometimes your reward is the chance to leave a voice mail—for someone who may or may not call you back.
When you use a broker, all of this is done for you. No phone trees, no entering your 16-digit account number, no leaving a message when you hear the tone. That’s the broker’s job, not yours.
It’s the broker’s job to match you with the best deal available for your particular situation and be knowledgeable about it. You won’t be surprised by hidden fees or time lags—leave all those details to your broker.
You can be sure that all your options will be presented to you. Your options will be explained to you as well by your broker. You’ll have no guesswork and full understanding of each financing package and its product features that are appropriate for you. When you make a decision, it will be the right one for you.
The qualifications each financial institution requires can vary a great deal. If your credit isn’t the best, a financing broker will know which banks have more lenient policies, which will save you time in applying and help avoid being turned down, unnecessarily having your credit bureau pulled. That’s what a broker does best: Match you with the best financing available to you.
Some pilots buy an airplane a few times in their lives and are experienced in the process; for many pilots though, buying an aircraft is a once-in-a-lifetime task. You have no way to tell the history and reputation of any financing company without doing extensive research. When you use a financing broker, that broker will know the track record and industry standing of all the institutions that are approached on your behalf.
Using a financial broker is a cost-effective way to have a trained professional on your side, looking out for your concerns and objectives. And when it comes to a financing broker, AOPA Aircraft Finance is the top in the field when it comes to knowledgeable staff, all of whom have extensive aviation knowledge. It’s easy to put them to work for you, finding you the best possible deal.
To start the process, contact AOPA Aviation Finance at 800/62-PLANE or visit aopafinance.com. AOPA Aircraft Finance's friendly staff will speak your language and take the confusion out of financing your airplane purchase. Don’t forget that using AOPA Aircraft Finance not only helps you, but also helps AOPA in its mission to keep GA airports open and support your right to fly.
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As the cold weather chills AOPA’s Headquarters in Frederick, many of us are inside generating new resources for flying clubs.
In my house, every Friday night is “Movie Night.” While the movies are rarely educational (I don’t think I learned anything from the Lego Movie), we look forward to the weekly opportunity to spend time together. Why not use the same concept for your Flying Club (with the addition of education, of course)?
The Aircraft Spotlight feature looks at an airplane type and evaluates it across six areas of particular interest to flying clubs and their members: Operating Cost, Maintenance, Insurability, Training, Cross-Country, and Fun Factor.
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