Have You Ever Used a Pawn Shop?

I was interested to read this Wall Street Journal article describing a boom among pawnbrokers. It’s interesting to see that as credit cards clamp down on credit lines and banks aren’t lending new money, even high net worth Americans and business owners are turning to pawn shops for short-term loans to get through rough spots. Have you used a pawn shop for a short term loan? Would you?

In desperate times, it seems to me pawning something is a better route than taking a payday loan or a credit card cash advance. Of course, if you just need to fill up you tank or pay the electric bill until you get paid next week, you can make the purchase with a credit card and, if you repay the charge within the card’s grace period, won’t pay any interest at all.

If you don’t have available credit on a credit card, or if you need cold hard cash, pawning seems to be a better option. I’m curious to know what you think–and if anybody’s ever done it.

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About David Weliver

David Weliver is the founding editor of Money Under 30. He's a cited authority on personal finance and the unique money issues we face during our first two decades as adults. He lives in Maine with his wife and two children.


  1. I actually used to pawn things when I was in college in Louisiana. I had some jewelry that I hocked to help me during some tight financial times. However, I never used it as a short-term loan, but just sold it outright for cash. You rarely get anything close to what your stuff is worth, but it is great if you need cash right away.

  2. I’ve never pawned anything but I have been to a pawn shop. It’s a great place to find good deals on jewelry!

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