by Mike Smith
Scope Aircraft Finance
For a majority of aircraft buyers, an aircraft purchase may not be possible without financing, and financing is not possible without a bank. The finance process can go several directions, and it all depends on the individual applicant as well as the bank they are working with. Regardless of which bank you work with I believe there are a few key ways you, as an applicant, can prepare for the process, which hopefully makes it as enjoyable as possible.
Fill out the application completely and answer all the questions on it
In most cases, the questions on the application are on there for a reason. If any part of the application is left incomplete, it could slow down the underwriting process, or worse, result in the lender creating false impressions of your financial picture.
If there is something, say something
There is no such thing as a perfect credit. Everyone has some complexity or moment in time where something happened. If you did have a hiccup in your financial past, mention it up front.
Don’t be offended by follow-up questions
Just like you don’t know us, we don’t know you. The underwriting time is an opportunity to get to know each other. Follow-up questions do not mean the bank is on a path towards a decline, it probably means the lender is making best efforts to learn about you so he or she can accurately provide financing solutions for your purchase.
Give them (the right amount of) time
Sometimes, approvals take some time. If you know that financing will be part of your purchase plans make sure to begin the application process as soon as possible. Even if you have yet to settle on a specific aircraft, the bank can offer a pre-approval and be ready to move once you select your aircraft.
Work with them
Contrary to popular belief, banks are not out there to “get” you. In our shop we look at every loan opportunity as a partnership and, since we’re in the business of funding loans, we want to work with our customers to do just that.
When I was a kid and played T-Ball, the last words my dad would say to me before I ran on the field was “remember, no matter what, just have fun.” I pass the same words along to you through your aircraft purchase journey, whether it includes financing or not. No matter what, just have fun, and enjoy the world of general aviation!