How to Learn About Pawnshop 101
Need some quick cash? A pawnshop might be a good option if you have a basement or attic full of valuable stuff that is just gathering dust. While you might walk away with some cash, it is important to learn how these transactions work before you even step foot in the shop.
“We are seeing more people who have never been to a Pawnshop before looking at short-term solutions without having to sell their farm,” Rick Harrison says. He is the Gold and Silver Pawnshops owner in Las Vegas and stars on the History Channel’s “Pawn Stars.”
Believe The Negative Things You Have Heard : Pawnshop
Pawnshops don’t look as scary and shady as they are in the media. Harrison says that mainstream media have unfairly denigrated pawnshops, so many people see pawnshops as seedy and dirty.
Emmett Murphy, a spokesperson for the National Pawnbrokers Association (NPA), stated that federal statutes and regulations do not regulate pawnshops. “The majority of pawnshops are well-lit, clean, and run by people who take pride in providing excellent customer service.”
Murphy recommends that you check with your local Better Business Bureau or look on the NPA website for information about member stores in the area.
How To Get The Loan
Here’s how a transaction in a pawnshop works:
- Pawnshops can offer collateral loans. This means that the loan is secured with something of value. If the pawnbroker is willing to lend you money, you can take something that you already own. The pawnbroker then keeps your item until you pay back the loan. Most likely, the loan amount will be only a fraction of the actual item’s value.
- Although you can sell your item directly to a pawnshop, pawnbrokers tend to be less interested in these transactions as loans have greater profit potential.
- You will need a pawn ticket. This is essential! It is not only the receipt for the item but also summarizes all terms and conditions of the loan, including the fees, expiration dates, item description, and expiration dates.
Repaying The Loan
There are two options for repayment.
- You must return to pay the entire balance (including the loan amount and any additional fees) before the deadline, typically 1 to 4 months from the original transaction.
- The pawnshop will keep your item if you don’t return it. Other than losing your item, there is no other consequence. There are no collection actions and no credit reporting implications. According to the National Pawnbrokers Association, however, 80% of customers do claim their items.
You can extend your loan term up to three months in some places, but this will incur additional fees.
The Interest Rate Explanation (sort of)
The dollar and cents of pawnshop loans are complicated because a) fees can vary from one state to another, and b) there is no fixed interest rate.
The term interest rate can be confusing. It’s best to consider the total “finance cost” instead, says Steve Krupnik, South Bend, Indiana. Krupnik is the creator of Pawn Shop Advisor and the author of “Pawnonomics.”
“Pawnshop loans can be obtained from almost all states. The ‘finance fees’ range from 5% per month to 25% per month. Krupnik states that Indiana’s ‘interest rate’ is limited to 36% APR or 3% monthly. However, pawnshops may charge an additional 20% per month service fee, making the total allowable finance cost 23% per calendar month.
Krupnik states, however, that the pawn industry continues to evolve rapidly. Many operators willingly lower maximum finance charges, particularly for larger pawn loans, becoming the “new norm.” “
A personal loan can be an excellent option for people who need funds to travel or for home renovations. Green Day Online.com offers the best rates.
Murphy stated that these loans are often for life-threatening emergencies and are called safety net loans. Murphy says that the typical fee is usually lower than the cost for a bounced check or disconnected utility.
Check your state’s website to find out the maximum rates and rules for pawnshop transactions.
Bottom line: Before you sign the loan agreement, make sure that the pawnbroker has clearly explained all fees. These terms should also be included on the pawn ticket.
What Pawnshops Want And Don’t Do
These are some tips to keep in mind when you’re considering paddling something.
Do not: Offer anything obsolete, hard to store, or low-quality, Krupnik suggests.
Wear jewelry or coins with you Krupnik also recommends firearms, high-quality tools, and musical instruments as good options.
Prepare For Red Tape
Legally, the pawnbroker must confirm that you are the legal owner.
Krupnik says, “They will ask enough questions about the property to make you feel comfortable with the fact you own it.” Do not be offended, and the pawnbroker wants to ensure that you and the property are legal.
You will also need a government-issued identification if you are doing business with a pawnbroker. It is required by law.”
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