Q: Is one sinful while studying with a Interest (ribā)-based student loan? And will one be will considered as consuming ribā?
الجواب حامدا ومصليا ومسلما ومنه الصدق والصواب
A: Under the current student loan agreement the student does not consume ribā.
Rather, the student agrees with the Student Loan Company, that he will pay back the loaned amount plus some interest in the event the student begins to earn a given amount. Whilst studying, the student does not pay any interest so the sin of paying interest has not yet been incurred.
However, it is also a sin to agree to pay interest at a future date and it is this sin that the student will unfortunately be made guilty of.
It is essential that the Muslim community rally together to pressure the government to introduce an alternative mechanism that does not involve riba so that the Muslim community may access further education like their non-Muslim counterparts.