Getting a loan from a bank is not easy feat in today's tight credit market. In order to qualify for a loan you need a good credit rating, collateral and you must prove that you can pay back the loan by proving your income.
The problem is that many have lost their jobs, have a poor credit rate or may even be facing bankruptcy. But a consumer may still need to borrow money for car repairs, medical bills or living expenses. Going to a bank and getting a loan may prove a difficult and disappointing experience.
There are alternative ways to get a cash loan. One is going to a pawn broker. Pawn brokers are business people who want to loan money. Despite the seedy reputation that the media have given them, most pawn brokers have clean, well-lit stores with friendly people who can help you to get a loan. They are not concerned with credit rates or a customer's employment status.
Instead they simply ask for collateral. A customer brings in something such as jewelry, a musical instrument or a valuable tool to leave with the pawn broker as collateral. The broker gives the client a claim ticket for their item and a cash loan. The length of the loan and the terms of the loan vary but usually the customer returns after 30 days, pays the amount of the loan plus a modest interest rate and reclaims his merchandise.
Customers usually have the option of renewing the loan by making interest payments or getting subsequent loans using the same merchandise as collateral. If the borrower does not pay the loan then the merchandise can revert to the pawn broker who tries to sell it to reclaim the loan that he made.
These secured loans have the added advantage in that they do not show up on your credit report as an outstanding debt. You do have to show identification, you must be over 18, and the item that you are using as collateral must belong to you. The pawn broker may ask you questions about the item but it's not that he suspects you of wrongdoing he simply has to verify that the property is yours. Pawn brokers take steps not to take in stolen merchandise and to operate their businesses according to the law.
Getting a loan from a pawnbroker can be a positive, trouble-free experience. Look for a pawnbroker that is licensed and bonded. Pawn brokers are regulated by a dozen federal laws and the laws of each state. You can check to see if they are a part of the National Pawnbrokers Association. Many brokers are also part of the Better Business Bureau.
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