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Credit Card Interest

if i lent someone a credit card am i allowed to make him pay the interst if he did not pay it in full. that credit card is used didstinctly for his one need and nothing else


If the payment was made by somebody else, who did not pay it back in full, and therefore incurred an interest charge, and it was the responsibility of the person involved to make the full payment, then he is liable to pay the full interest payment, and may be made to do so. Because the interest payment is vis-a-vis the credit card company, a non-Jewish establishment, there is no issue of prohibited ribis payments.

For a fuller answer, please see the comments below. The conclusion is that if the borrower of the credit card will pay you back for interest that you pay the company, it would be prohibited to do so.

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  1. I was involved in a court case over this exact topic in a complicated case. It seemed that many poskim held that it was Ribbis since the credit card company is lending to you and you are in turn lending that same money to a yid. (ie if it was not paid the cc would take legal action against the cardholder)

  2. I am not sure I would agree with this ansewer, based on my understanding of the Sugya. If the person were to pay the money directly to the credit card company I see no problem, but this is an unlikely scenario. The card owner will be collecting the money from the third party and will apportion a part of his overall interest costs, I think this is not allowed.

    1. Your point is well made. The answer assumes that the person who borrowed the card will be paying directly to the credit card company, which is implied by the words of the question “who did not pay it back in full” — meaning (seemingly) that the borrower is the one who is paying the company. It is true that this is not usually be the case.
      When the owner pays the company, it would not be permitted for him to take back the payment of interest from the borrower. This is because the original payment of the borrower (the person who borrowed the card) is considered a loan from the owner of the card to its borrower, and it is therefore forbidden to take back a larger sum than was initially borrowed. This is the ruling issued by Bris Yehuda (Ikkrei Dinim 14:25) and by Nesivos Shalom (174:4:57). Mishnas Ribis (17:7) goes further and prohibits the repayment even when the borrower pays directly to the credit card company (I haven’t seen this source inside).
      Thank you for the helpful response.

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