Currently, 63% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck. It’s not always possible to cover all expenses until the next paycheck arrives. In times of uncertainty or difficulty, like the current pandemic, you may need extra cash quickly to keep bills from piling up. Even if you’re not in dire financial straits, there may be another reason why you need cash fast. There are plenty of ways to earn some quick cash, and pawning items is a good one.
What does a pawnbroker do?
The term “pawn” is sometimes used to mean selling something to a pawnbroker, but “pawning something” actually means using that item as collateral on a short-term loan.
If you’re considering pawning an item, you’ve probably already researched work on demand or personal loans. If these options are not available to you, for whatever reason, pawning the items you own might be a better alternative to a bill expiration or a payday loan.
Tips for Selecting a Pawnbroker
However, finding the right pawnbroker for you and your item can be stressful on top of an already difficult situation. You can follow these two simple rules when selecting a pawnbroker:
- Don’t do business if you feel uncomfortable.
- Look for a pledge license.
These rules are the bare minimum if you must date now. Otherwise, keep reading for more details on these two rules and six other tips for finding a pawnshop near you.
1. Find the ideal locations for pawnbrokers
Before you can decide if you want to do business with a pawnbroker, you need to find one. The best place to start is to ask friends, family or colleagues for recommendations and locations. You may not know anyone who has ever used a pawnshop. In this case, the best way to find a pawnshop near you is to use the Internet or the Google Maps locator.
On your smartphone, use the map application of your choice and use the search term “pion”. This will bring up several stores near you. Check out their reviews. Try to avoid pawnshops that have recently opened, recently changed management or ownership, or have bad reviews. Above all, avoid pawnbrokers who behave unprofessionally in reviews.
After choosing three or four stores – if you have that many – call them before venturing out. Sometimes you can find out over the phone if a company’s style matches yours.
2. Only do business when you feel comfortable
Even if you have a bill looming and you feel pressure to get the money, don’t ignore your instincts. Pawnshops, like any store, should provide you with professional customer service, so that you have a good experience and want to come back. Staff should recognize you when you enter and should not make you feel like your business is an inconvenience.
3. Check pawnshop licenses
Pawnbrokers are required to have multiple licenses, depending on their state or local municipality and what they choose to accept. These licenses tell you that the establishment is legitimate and complies with the regulations. Also, operating a pawn shop without a license is illegal.
If a pawnshop has all the right licenses but isn’t more than happy to show you their licenses, it might not be the kind of pawnshop you want to be owed for your loan. .
4. Check interest rates and other fees
Pawnbrokers are allowed to charge huge interest rates. Some states cap the interest rate pawnshops are allowed to charge, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re protecting the consumer. For example, Texas has a 240% APR cap on loans up to $219.
Good to know
Pawnbrokers may also charge processing or storage fees. Check with the pawnbroker about these fees before handing over your item. If they aren’t open about the fees they charge, however, their fees can be much higher than the norm.
Some pawnshops include this fee when calculating their advertised APR, but many do not. You can take this into account when deciding if you can afford to repay the loan. Once you’ve pledged your item as collateral but can’t repay the loan, know that your item is gone.
5. Make sure your item is properly stored
Make sure the pawnshop you choose can store your item safely. If your item is precious metal, jewelry, or other high-value item, make sure the store has a safe to store your item and applicable insurance to cover loss or damage to your item. your item. Firearms should also be stored in a safe, both for their protection and that of personnel.
6. Make sure staff are upfront and honest
When you’re browsing a pawnshop and their staff doesn’t seem completely honest, you should take your item elsewhere. Research the price of your item online before taking it to the pawnshop. Ask questions about it.
Wanting to help a potential customer is good service. A pawnbroker may not give you all the details, but if they refuse to give you a reason or explanation for their valuation, you may want to question their decision; especially if their quote differs significantly from what you found during your research.
This fits the first rule, but it’s worth repeating: If the staff at a pawn shop don’t seem upfront and honest or if they seem sketchy in any way, don’t do business with them. pawnshop.
Being able to consider getting a pawnbroker is stressful. If you follow the rules and tips above, you’ll find a pawnshop near you that you might like.
When you pay off your loan and get your item back, it’s time to make a budget you can live with to hopefully avoid living on paycheck in the future.
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Information is accurate as of January 21, 2022.
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