Q: My husband and I have applied to go on hajj this year inshAllah. I was reminded by my husband however that I have not paid back my student loan of £9000, which i took out before I got married, to help pay fees and expenses of 3 years of a degree in Medicine. I say 3 years as I did not complete the full 5 year medicine degree, instead I transferred to do a Physiotherapy degree which I did complete and for which I did not take a loan as the NHS paid for the physiotherapy degree.
I have not been in employment since initially starting the Medicine degree nor after completing the physiotherapy degree and so I have not had the means to pay back my student loan (The student loan is to be repaid in installments when one is in employment and starts earning a certain threshold of income).
Could you please advise me if I must pay back the full or part of the student loan as a requirement first before I go on the hajj?
الجواب حامدا ومصليا ومسلما ومنه الصدق والصواب
A: In answer to your question, the rule with regards to a normal outstanding loan is that if one leaves sufficient assets behind which can be used to pay off one’s creditors then one may travel to Hajj without seeking their permission. However, if one does not have sufficient assets to meet one’s obligation to one’s creditors then it is prohibitively reprehensible (makruh tahrimi) to travel for Hajj without their permission.
That said, as the requirement to repay the student loan materialises only once you begin to earn above a threshold and you have yet to reach that threshold, and also, more importantly, there is no concept of the Student Loan Company ever imposing restrictions on your travel which is effectively a constructive form of permission to travel, it can safely be concluded that you may travel for Hajj without repaying any of the student loan.