Finding a place to land

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By nbkc bank

Looking for a home loan is a big decision — with plenty of challenges that pop up throughout the process. But your profession shouldn’t make it harder. Unfortunately, many pilots run into issues when securing a mortgage. Simply because plenty of lenders don’t understand the airline industry. But we do — and our loan experts at nbkc have plenty of tips for pilots looking for the right home loan solution. Prepare for takeoff.

Hitting turbulence

You might’ve already experienced this first hand, but it’s important to start by breaking down some common headaches pilots run into when looking for a home loan.

What makes the home loan process for a pilot difficult

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Let’s start with the obvious one: lots of lenders aren’t exactly pilot-friendly. They don’t understand the industry, know how to calculate pilots’ annual income and struggle to decipher work contracts. That doesn’t mean you should lose your ability to borrow.

But this often leads to a long, complicated process by unfamiliar underwriters.

You deserve to borrow from a lender that treats you like any professional — even if you have a “nontraditional” work schedule and income.

Calculating a pilot’s income

Since commercial airline pilots don’t work a set amount of hours or earn a regular base salary, many lenders unfamiliar with the airline industry have difficulties determining annual income for underwriting decisions.

But we know that you aren’t a part-time employee just because you work 60-80 hours a month. That’s why it’s important to have your pilot agreement handy to help calculate your income — especially for new hires who don’t have previous yearly earnings to go off of.

It’s also important for lenders to understand significant pay increases that come with becoming a tenured pilot and moving into the left seat. Those conversations will help inform lenders as they work to calculate income, credit and all the other good stuff that normally goes into the approval process. Be proactive and have this conversation with a prospective lender early on in the process.

  • Get paid in 2 days.
  • Get money in your account automatically.
  • Get an easy-to-use, mobile-friendly accounting tool.

What to consider when considering a home loan

Now that we’ve talked about some issues pilots face, let’s take a look at what to look for when choosing a lender and home loan.

Pilots care about rates, fees and term lengths, too

Lenders should treat you like any other potential buyer and so should you. You’re still in the market for a new home, so it’s important to think through all of the factors that every borrower considers.

Loan rate, amount, timeline, fees — you know, all of the good stuff. Determine your financial goals, be honest with yourself and be prepared to work closely with your lender.

If you’re a first time home buyer, read our general overview for more tips and considerations.

Know yourself and your profession

Like we mentioned earlier — it’s important to know thyself. Plenty of lenders don’t know the intricacies of your profession — which is crucial in determining your borrowing power.

Be prepared to discuss your pay, status and what type of pilot you are (commercial, private, military). It’s key to determine your goals and needs as a home buyer.

If you decide on a lender that doesn’t have much experience partnering with pilots, we recommend starting the process earlier than you might anticipate. It’ll take plenty of time and plenty of collaboration to determine your home loan solution.

Or better yet, partner with a lender that knows how to work with pilots — like us.

nbkc helps you find your home between flights

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Our team of home loan experts has handled countless home loans & mortgages for pilots. We have experience with:

  • Establishing income minimums for pilot new hires
  • Re-calculating income when a pilot has just started their year 2 pay rate OR when a pilot moves from First Officer to Captain
  • Calculating income for retired military pilots starting with a commercial airline
  • VA Pilot loans
  • And more

We know what to request, how to calculate income and plenty of the ins-and-outs of the airline industry.

Easy financing for employees

We also have financing solutions for commercial airline employers. Build the workspace that works best for you with our Pilot Program. We have a staff that is well versed in both commercial and military pay to make your life easier.

Easier home financing for employees means happier employees. Reach out to a loan officer if you’re interested in learning more. We have lending solutions for companies of all sizes.

Ready to board?

We hope this helps as you begin the home buying journey. It’s a long process that can be filled with plenty of challenges — especially as a pilot. But it doesn’t have to be. Choose a lender that understands you, your career and your goals — even if it isn’t us.

If you do want to get the mortgage process started with nbkc, contact a loan officer or visit our pilot home loans page to get started. Or simply reach out with questions if you want to chat with someone who speaks your language. We’d be happy to help.

Let’s make sure you land safely in a new home.