Muslim Student Wonders if His Faith Can Get Him Out of Paying Interest on His Loans April 23, 2015

Muslim Student Wonders if His Faith Can Get Him Out of Paying Interest on His Loans

Student loans suck. We know that. And they suck in large part because the interest keeps accruing.

If only God could help you out…

That’s the question “Amir” sent to Steve Rhode, Huffington Post‘s “Get Out of Debt Guy.”

Amir took out $32,000 in loans… but he owes $64,000 due to deferment and interest.

… Since 2012 I have been learning more about my faith and it is strictly forbidden in my faith to have dealings with interest.

I am offering to pay off the original amount I owe however due to religious reasons would like them to recognize that my awareness and conditions have changed from the time of originally accepting the loan with Citi-Student Loan Corp and not even with them at Sallie Mae.

Can I get the interest wiped out and close this account and case with just paying the original amount borrowed?

Rhode politely told Amir that’s not how it works, in part by out-Islam-ing him:

Asking any lender to adjust their terms and conditions after the fact for religious reasons is just not going to happen.

If you don’t have funds available to do that then you might want to talk to your mosque about Zakat, “a muslim charitable fund that followers may ask for help from in order to repay problem debt. Zakat is a obligatory charity for Muslim followers.” – Source

But even considering all those facts above, if your faith is guiding your repayment then you’ll have to seek wise counsel on how to deal with what… the Imam told me. He said, even those that borrowed with interest, are obligated to repay their entire debt and if they don’t they will prohibited from entering paradise when they die.

Part of me wants to scream, “If you don’t want to pay back the loans — with interest — you shouldn’t have taken them out in the first place!” Remember: This isn’t a case of not having the money, but not wanting to use it to pay the interest. It’s someone suggesting the rules don’t apply to him because of his religious beliefs. (Somewhere, a Christian florist is thinking, “Yeah! Screw the interest!”)

Though, if his reasoning worked, that’d be one hell of a recruitment pitch for Islam…

(Thanks to Jaynee for the link. Image via Shutterstock)

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