Vanessa is a 23-year-old full-time student of the Australian Wings Academy, a pilot training facility at Coolangatta Airport on the border of Queensland and New South Wales. She lives in Tweed Heads.

A private pilot licence is required to begin the commercial pilot journey, but the acquisition of it is no easy feat. As part of an integrated training course the intensive program combines ground theory with practical flight training (a required 30 hours flight time piloting the plane).

It’s designed to be completed within a condensed period of time and it was finalising this timeframe that had Vanessa stuck. “I was looking for the funds which I needed urgently to complete the final stages before starting my commercial pilots licence.”

“I heard about the fair finance available through BaptistCare HopeStreet from my mum. To have access to those funds means so much, honestly. I’m so thankful. Paying the loan off is affordable. The process was so fast. The process of getting a pilot’s licence is something else,” said Vanessa.

BaptistCare HopeStreet, in partnership with The Hub Baptist in Tweed Heads, supports low-income earners by providing small loans for everyday items, with absolutely no interest, fees, charges or penalties – called No Interest Loans (NILS). Clients also have access to learn budgeting skills and financial literacy, to empower them to make informed financial decisions into the future.

“Ever since I was small it’s always been my passion to fly. I travelled a lot when I was a kid, so every time I saw pilots in airports in their cool uniforms it I was like, yep, that’s what I want to do.”

Having come so far, Vanessa is motivated to take her training through to commercial status. “I’ll take it all the way. Once I have my licence I would like to start domestic routes and see where it takes me. I would love to work with Virgin or Qantas.”

Vanessa’s passion is palpable when she discusses flying. “The moment when you take off, the feeling is unbelievable. When you’re up there with the view, and you feel that you are in control, it’s just amazing. It seems impossible. It’s just incredible.”

Not everyone has access to safe and affordable loans to fulfil their dreams and goals. For many, poor credit rating, bad debts or turning to loan sharks becomes a long-term barrier and causes substantial hardship. Our loans give people a fair go. Find out more about our fair finance options.