Reuven applied for a mortgage from his bank and was turned down because he did not have enough monthly income. He turned to his friend Shimon, who heads a local Kollel, and said to him:
“I know that you are in desperate need of funds to cover your monthly Kollel budget. I am in desperate need of a mortgage. I am willing to lend you 20 thousand dollars right now, on the condition that you pay me back the loan in 10 monthly installments of 2000 dollars each, which you must transfer to my bank account from your Kollel account, so that I can show the bank that I have a steady monthly income of 2000 dollars.
Is this a problem of ribbis?
Although Shimon, The Rosh-Hakollel is not repaying any more money than he actually borrowed, and the added benefit that Reuven, the lender, receives, (The mortgage approval) is not coming from the borrower Shimon, but rather from the bank, which is a non-involved party, (and ribbis is not forbidden unless it comes from the borrower to the lender), nevertheless, since Reuven, the lender is only giving the loan on the condition and request that Shimon make the loan payments in the method which he requested, would Shimon’s complying with this condition in order to receive the loan of 20 thousand dollars be considered ribbis between him and Reuven?
[PS Please include reasoning and מראה מקומות as part of the response].
In the above scenario, would it make a difference if the lender, Reuven, was already a member of the Kollel, and he asked the Rosh-Hakollel, Shimon, to add the loan payments to his monthly kollel stipend, so that he could show the bank a higher income amount?
In consultation with a few poskim, it seems to be alright, since the kollel didn’t do anything special in order to pay you back this way, in fact it is easier for them to just make a transfer to you bank account. Therefore it wold not be ribbis, as you stated because the borrower didn’t give the lender any benifit, rather a third party.