Imagine this: after one or two unanticipated expenses pop up, your rent or car payment is due, and you are short $100. What should you do? You might consider a bank loan, but not only is the amount too small, but the hit to your credit report also isn’t worth it. Plus, getting your money could take weeks.

You might think about asking a friend or a family member. Still, the chances are good that they are facing similar financial troubles, not to mention that borrowing money from friends and family can be a tricky situation. Some might even think about potentially dangerous solutions like getting a cash advance on a credit card or obtaining a payday advance loan, both of which charge astonishing interest rates and trap many unsuspecting people into a vicious cycle of debt.

If you have an item of value, you could think about selling it online or on one of the many person-to-person sales apps out there. This can be a good option but comes with many compromises that make it troublesome. For one, you are at the mercy of demanding buyers who may try to lowball you at every turn, not to mention the fact that to list items cost money, which immediately eats into the funds you can expect. Also, waiting for your money to transfer over to you may be too slow. Worst of all, once you sell your item, it is gone forever. Selling something you treasure can be painful.

If this scenario sounds at all familiar, you are not alone, and you are not out of options. The solution you are looking for can be found at your local pawn shop. Pawn shop loans are fair, short term collateral cash loans, and they are designed to work with you, not against you.

At Central Mega Pawn, we believe that getting the emergency cash you need should not be a grueling and possibly heartbreaking experience. We are here to help. Keep reading to find out what you need to know about pawn loans in California.

How Pawn Shops Work

First, we will go over how pawn shops function in the first place. Since ancient times, pawn shops have been a resource for their communities for quick, easy funding. Today, the spirit is essentially the same:

  • You bring in something that you legally own, and that has value. (We will discuss how to determine if your item is valuable shortly)
  • After inspecting the item, if the pawnbroker is interested, he or she will offer a loan, usually in the amount equal to a fraction of the item’s value.
  • Once all the loan terms have been discussed and agreed upon, you receive your cash and leave your item at the shop.
  • You will receive a pawn ticket, which you should keep track of! It is the receipt for your item, and it contains all of your loan terms, like fees, repayment date, etc.
  • If you repay your loan plus interest in the agreed-upon terms, you will get your item back.
  • If you do not repay your loan plus interest, you surrender the item to the pawn shop. They will then put it up for sale to recoup the loss. You are under no further obligation, and your credit score is unaffected.

Getting a pawn loan in California

As stated above, it is a reasonably straightforward process to obtain a pawn loan in California. However, there are other things you should know:

  • Look for a reputable pawn shop. Your local pawn shop should have its certification prominently posted in the shop and website.
  • Be prepared to identify yourself. You will need to show your driver’s license or state ID, provide a thumbprint, and in some cases, have your photo taken. You may also be asked to provide detailed information about the item being pawned. While this sometimes feels excessive for first-timers, this is one of the many ways that pawn shops take care not to deal in stolen items, which is suitable for everyone.
  • In California, the loan period is generally 120 days, plus a ten-day grace period to repay your loan and accrued interest and fees.
  • Pawn interest rates and fees tend to be very fair and are regulated by the state. However, they can vary depending on the size of the loan and can add up, so look over your agreement carefully before signing.

What can you use for collateral?

We will now discuss the kinds of things you can use for collateral to get your pawn loan! The good news is that you can pawn just about anything. The bad news is that not everything will have a monetary value. Below are some things to consider before choosing what to use for collateral.

  • Keep in mind that no matter your item’s sentimental value, and regardless of how much you paid for it when you first purchased it, it may not be worth as much as you think. Your pawnbroker must use its current market value to determine its worth. Then, you can only expect about a percentage of the determined value.
  • Remember that pawnbrokers tend to specialize in items particular to their community. For example, pawn shops in farming communities will have many farm-related items, while urban ones will specialize in other things. Some specialize in things like gold, jewelry, or electronics.
  • Don’t be too intimidated to negotiate with your pawnbroker on things like amounts or even loan terms. We have a handy guide to help you conquer your hesitation, available here.

Why Central Mega Pawn?

At Central Mega Pawn, we want your business, not your merchandise. We love to help our community get the cash they need, and we love assisting first-time customers to become repeat visitors. Our goal is to go above and beyond for you every time. The next time you need quick cash for bills, emergencies, or any reason at all, visit us and find out why we are Southern California’s leading resource for pawn loans!