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Is it necessary to repay student loans if one is not contractually obliged to repay? Is the husband responsible for the wife’s debts?

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by Askimam.org

My fiancee took out student loans from the Government during the time she was studying. These are ostensibly interest-free, but are actually indexed-linked to inflation so the repayment is the same as the amount borrowed in real terms. UK student loans work on the basis that repayment does not begin until the borrower is earning £10,000 after graduation. When this threshold is reached, the repayments are taken out of the borrower’s pay-packet in the same way as income-tax and national insurance. When she borrowed the money, she intended to go into employment after graduation. Now, however she wants to avoid working and practice Islam more fully, insha’allah. my questions are: 1) as the government will not expect repayment, nor is there any legal obligation on her to pay unless she is earning enough, is it necessary for her to repay those loans? 2) if it is necessary for her to pay, will it become my duty as her husband to repay these debts she has incurred on herself when i marry her?

Answer

Assalaamu Alaykum Wa Rahmatullaahi Wa Barakaatuhu

According to the terms and conditions explained by you, it is not necessary
for her to repay the loan.

and Allah Ta’ala Knows Best

Mufti Ebrahim Desai
FATWA DEPT.

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This answer was collected from Askimam.org, which is operated under the supervision of Mufti Ebrahim Desai from South Africa.

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