Picture this: payday is still a while away, but your rent or car payment is due. After doing the math, you realize that when all is said and done, you will be short around $100. Or, one or two unanticipated expenses pop up, getting in the way of your usual careful budgeting. What can you do? Your first thought might be to see about a bank loan, but two factors make that a bad idea. One, the amount you will be short is too small to qualify for a loan, and two, the hit to your credit report isn’t worth the trouble. Not to mention, getting your money from a bank could take weeks. You just don’t have that kind of time.

Your next thought might be to ask for a small loan from a friend or family member. However, given the state of the world currently, there’s a good chance that everyone you know is facing similar financial difficulties. Plus, borrowing money from friends and family members can lead to relationship-harming tension. Meanwhile, others might think about potentially dangerous solutions to this problem, such as using a credit card for a cash advance or applying for a payday loan. Unfortunately, both of these solutions are a recipe for trouble. Both charge astronomical interest rates and even trap unsuspecting people in a vicious cycle of debt.

If you have something valuable on hand, you might think about selling it online. This can be a good option, but it also comes with many troublesome compromises. For example, auction sites may be easy to use, but they often charge fees upon fees, which eat into your profit. Not to mention, you are at the mercy of demanding buyers who may try to lowball you at every turn, further reducing the amount you can expect. Also, waiting for your money to be made available to you can take longer than you have. And worst of all, if the item is something that you treasure, it is gone forever once you sell it. Paying your bills shouldn’t cause such heartache.

If this scenario sounds familiar to you, you are not alone, and you have more options than you probably realize. A helpful solution that can help you get the cash you need without sacrificing your credit score, financial stability, or a treasured item can be found at your local pawn shop. Pawnshop loans are short-term collateral cash loans, and they are designed to work with you, not against you.

At Azusa Pawn, we believe that getting the cash you need should not be a problematic or heartbreaking experience. We are here to help and have been serving our community for many years. Keep reading to find a handy guide to pawnshop loans.

The pawnshop business model

First, let’s discuss how pawn shops function in the first place. For nearly three thousand years, pawn shops have been a community resource for short-term credit. Today, the spirit of pawning is pretty much the same:

  • You bring your local pawnbroker an item that is legally yours and that has both value and demand in your community.
  • After thoroughly inspecting the item, your pawnbroker will offer you a loan if he or she is interested.
  • The loan amount is typically around a fraction of the item’s appraised value.
  • You receive your cash as well as a copy of essential loan terms and dates, and leave your item at the shop.
  • When you repay your loan, plus interest in the agreed-upon repayment terms, you will get your item back.
  • If you do not repay the loan, you surrender the item to the pawnshop, which will then attempt to resell your item.
  • Your credit score is not affected, and there are no further obligations from you or your pawnshop.

How to get a pawn loan at Azusa Pawn

In addition to the steps and aspects listed above, here are some other things you should know about getting a pawn loan:

  • Look, or ask for, your local pawn shop’s certifications. They should be in good standing with their state.
  • Be prepared to provide valid identification. You can use a driver’s license, state or military ID, or passport. You will also need to provide a thumbprint, and in some cases, have your photo taken. Additionally, you will need to provide information on the item you are pawning. First-timers are often surprised at how thorough their local pawn shop is about identification. Still, these measures are how pawn shops keep their community safe and avoid dealing with stolen materials.
  • In California, the loan period is usually 120 days, plus a ten-day grace period to repay your loan and as well as interest plus fees.
  • Pawn interest rates and fees are usually fair and are also highly regulated by the state. However, they can still vary depending on the size of the loan, so carefully look over your agreement before signing.

What can you use for collateral?

Now, we can discuss the kinds of items you can use to get your cash loan. First, the good news: you can pawn just about anything of value. However, there’s some bad news: not everything you own will have value. Below are some guidelines on how to choose your collateral item:

  • Your pawnbroker must rely on your items current market value to determine the amount of your loan. Then, you can expect an offer of about 40-60% of that amount. This means that your pawnbroker is not concerned with sentimental value or the amount you paid when you first purchased it.
  • Pawnbrokers tend to specialize in items that are in demand in their communities. For example, pawn shops in rural areas will have items related to outdoor-related activities, while urban ones may specialize in electronics. Some pawn shops specialize in things like gold, jewelry.
  • You are encouraged to negotiate with your local pawnbroker. Keep in mind that you should know your item’s market value before you negotiate, and that respect is at the heart of every transaction your pawnbroker makes.

Why Azusa Pawn?

At Azusa Pawn, our mission is to help our community. We aim to help you get the cash you need ASAP. From first-time visitors to repeat customers, we go above and beyond for everyone. When you need quick cash for unexpected expenses, everyday bills, or for any reason at all, visit us and find out why we are the San Gabriel Valley‘s fastest-growing pawn shop!