Taking Interest

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This is the approved revision of this page, as well as being the most recent.
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The laws of interest are one of the most complex and relevant laws in today's economy and even in everyday life. See the numerous pages below for the details of arranging loans in a permitted fashion.

  • Categories of Ribbit: This page includes
    • the definitions of Biblical and rabbinic interest,
    • legal subterfuge sometimes which is permitted and sometimes forbidden,
    • the laws of interest on rentals,
    • whether it be renting real estate or or utensils,
    • interest for worker salaries,
    • lending objects,
    • returning stolen money,
    • interest with a loan of land or documents,
    • forgiving interest,
    • ribbit for pikuach nefesh,
    • taking interest temporarily,
    • and giving interest to benefit the lender.
  • Interest with Non-Jews: This page includes
    • the laws of interest with a non-Jew, convert, non-religious Jew,
    • lending between several parties some of which are Jewish and some non-Jewish,
    • Jewish agent for interest deals, debt equity,
    • managing someone else's money,
    • as well as guarantors and co-signers.
  • When Is It Permitted to Benefit the Lender: This page covers
    • the topics of gifts or favors from the borrower to the lender,
    • whether it be monetary or non-monetary, or even mitzvah opportunities.
    • It also relates to a lender benefiting from a borrow's property,
    • hiring or giving business to the lender,
    • right of first refusal,
    • paying taxes, fees, or debt for the lender.
    • Payments to or from a third party are a separate discussion on this page as well.
  • Buying on Credit: This page discusses all of the details of
    • discounts for buying on credit such as subscriptions, early bird specials, or prepayments,
    • benefiting the seller,
    • contracts with a delivery company,
    • return policies,
    • and after the fact transactions established with interest.
  • Guaranteed Low Prices: This page deals with the topic of
    • paying for goods with a delayed delivery,
    • future contracts of commodities,
    • and a purchase of a service in advance without assuming risk.
  • Penalty Clauses: This page is dedicated to
    • penalties and late fees those which are permitted and those which are forbidden as interest.
  • Borrowing Commodities: This page deals with
    • borrowing commodities.
    • such as if you want to borrow a bag of flour or dozen eggs from your neighbor.
    • Lending commodities as part of a work contract is also discussed here.
  • Returning Interest That Was Wrongly Collected:
    • What to do with interest that was collected by accident or intentionally and now needs to be returned.
    • Biblical vs Rabbinic interest
  • Corporations and Partnerships:
    • A classic iska with all of the terms and conditions are documented here.
  • Financial Tools and Interest:
    • Stocks,
    • Merchant cash advance,
    • Annuity,
    • Selling a loan
  • Foreign Currency and Interest
    • Lending or Trading Foreign Currency
    • Purchasing a Commodity with One Currency and Repaying with Another
  • Common Everyday Cases of Interest: Some of the common questions dealt with on this page include:
    • Borrowing someone's credit card.
    • Keeping the Change when Repaying,
    • Selling a Check,
    • Exchanging Favors,
    • Family Members Lending,
    • Loans of Small Amounts,
    • Early Bird Specials,
    • Car Loans, and
    • Opening an Account at an Israeli Bank
  • Heter Iska
    • In order to make any loan with interest, which is standard in today's economy, a person needs to sign a heter iska to effectively change the contract from a loan into a partial or complete business deal. The halachot are complex and must be done with an official heter iska documents or reviewed by a rabbi.


Links

  1. Ribbis by Rabbi Hershel Schachter
  2. Contemporary Issues in Hilchos Ribbis by Rabbi Yona Reiss