The Hollywood image of the pawn shop needs correcting.
It is time to get the image of the cigar chomping, half-intoxicated pawn shop owner out of mind. Television and movies have done a job of promoting the pawn shop as a seedy place to sell, or fence, ill-gotten wares. This comedic representation probably prevents many people from understanding the true nature of the pawn business. It is only recently, with the success of a popular reality show, that some people have gotten a fuller view of the industry.
Here are some of the real things that pawn shops do to help the average American.
- They Do Not Perform Credit Checks
In today’s society, that all important credit score means a lot. Without credit, it is difficult to get the basics needed to survive. Try renting an apartment with bad credit. Even worse, ask a bank for a loan. The only credit card offers these people can expect are those with astronomical interest rates. After years of repayment, most wish in the end that they never had gotten the cards.
In contrast, pawn shops operate outside the mainstream credit system. People bring in their goods and secure a loan for the value. If they fail to repay the loan, then the items become those of the pawnbroker. This is a “right to sale” feature.
This legal contract allows average people to get money they could never dream of otherwise. Moreover, “defaulting” on the loan only means loss of the items put up as collateral.
- They Usually Buy and Sell Gold
Another facet of the pawn industry that people take for granted is the “buy gold,” feature. Pawn shops have long been places to buy and sell precious metals. Investors are becoming more aware of gold as world currencies continue to falter. Consumers realize the possibility that one day there could be a financial meltdown necessitating the use gold and silver. During a crisis, dollar bills, coins, checks and credit cards may not hold the value now given them.
Most pawn shops buy and sell gold in the form of jewelry, bullion coins and bars, whenever possible. People can get started trading in precious metals immediately at the pawn shop.
- They Provide Temporary Cash
Last, the pawn industry is perhaps the last place left where someone can go to get temporary cash. Banks, credit unions and friends are often unable to understand the need for some pocket money. Yet, here in California, someone may just want to have some cash to spend on a weekend beach trip. No mainstream lending institution tied into the international credit system is going to accept this rationale. Meanwhile, the pawnbroker has no interest in the reason for the cash. There is no need to explain.
Enjoying Freedom at the Pawn Shop
With so many people working night-and-day to pay off school loans, credit cards and home mortgages, the pawn industry can seem like a last bastion of freedom. There are no interest rates, no midnight creditor calls and no lowering of credit scores. Anyone who wants to enjoy a stress-free lending environment might want to consider visiting their local pawn shop (such as A J’S Super Pawn Inc).