An interest-free alternative to student loans for Muslim students has launched in the UK.
With tuition fees and living costs on the rise and the average British student graduating with a debt of £44,000, one of the biggest questions students face is how to afford the costs of university education.
For more than 130,000 Muslim students in the UK, taking out traditional student loans comes into conflict with their religious beliefs that prohibit all forms of interest.
But QardHasan is an interest-free alternative to traditional student loans, enabling Muslim students to fund university without compromising their faith.
Research conducted by the UK Government shows many Muslim students have been deterred from accessing higher education as a direct result of requiring an interest-bearing loan.
At QardHasan, Muslim students can launch a 40-day crowdfunding campaign to borrow up to £30,000 by appealing to family, friends, alumni and charitable trusts to invest in their education.
QardHasan also works with a growing number of corporate partners who support talented students they may be interested in hiring further down the line with funding.
“We’re telling Muslim students: you don’t have to choose between your faith and your aspirations,” said Tom Woolf, founder and chief executive of QardHasan.
“You can come from any background and aim for any career. All you need to do is showcase your potential and hustle like crazy.”
After years of research and testing on campuses to devise an interest-free, low-cost, sustainable and collaborative model for Sharia-compliant student loans, QardHasan officially launched yesterday (March 14) with the ambition of transforming the way Muslim students fund university, and making access to education fair again.
QardHasan is a higher education peer-to-peer lending platform that adheres to the principles of Islamic finance. Using the power of community capital, students are able to crowdfund their student loans for university at zero interest.
As well as facilitating access to higher education, QardHasan connects students looking for internships, part or full-time work with opportunities before, during and after university.
Students are validated through a three-phase process that includes identity, fraud, anti-money laundering and affordability checks before starting the process to crowdfund their loan from the community. Students must be on a UK accredited course with the permanent right to remain in the UK after graduation.
For more information, visit the QardHasan website.
What do you think of this new interest-free alternative to student loans? Tell us in the comments below!
Chief blog editor. UK. Journalist and editor.