Most people who need a quick loan and do not want to pay the high cost of a payday loan, where APR’s can be as high as 400% (see our blog on payday loans vs pawn loans) or go through a credit check and all the additional requirements of a personal loan, a pawn shop is a great alternative. Since Pawn Shops offer short term loans on most items of value, in California for instance the pawn loan term is just 4 months, it is easier and cheaper for many to find an item to pawn than to deal with credit cards or payday loans. However, before you go into any pawn shop to get a quick cash loan there are a few things to keep in mind.

1. Pawn Shops Can & Will Negotiate – So be ready but don’t be rude… as the old saying goes you can catch more fly’s with honey than you can with vinegar. Knowing the value of your item is one thing but what your really want to know is what is lowest reasonable amount you will except and of course just how much money you need as this is a loan and you are not selling the item. Having this information worked out before you step foot inside a pawn shop will put you in a position to work with them in a meaningful way to get the best value for your loan.

2. Make Sure You Have A Valid Form of ID – Pawn shops are heavily regulated and must adhere to strict laws regarding lending and so must require that anyone receiving a pawn loan be documented accordingly. This helps to prevent issues such as fraud and other issues from taking place which helps to make a pawn loan an extremely safe type of loan to get. For most pawn shops a valid drivers license or state ID card will do though they must be current, also acceptable are military ID and Passports, as long as they are valid, student I.D’s and expired I.D’s will not cut the mustard.

3. Not All Pawn Shops Are The Same – From customer service to inventory to size there are all types of reasons that make pawn shops different from one another this includes how much they will offer on your item for the loan they provide you, so it is always best to shop around. Some pawn shops will even increase the amount they will loan on an item if the customer has taken out loans in the past and has a good history with them. For this reason many people will settle on one local pawn shop that they like to get loans from.

4. Interest Rates on Pawn Loans are Regulated By The State – This is one of the reasons that pawn loans can be such a good choice for those in need of some quick cash for a short time. What this means is that you will not pay more than the State Allowed Limit of interest that can be charged on a pawn loan. That being said the interest you pay can play into your negotiations for the best pawn loan as knowing how much you will be paying back may also help you determine just how much money you want to borrow.

5. Make sure whatever you want to pawn is real, has actual value & works – Most pawn shops will not lend on anything that is not in working order, though this may seem like common knowledge we see time and time again individuals get up to the counter with an item such as a drill or a computer that just doesn’t work. Pawn shops will always test an item right at the counter to make sure that it is in working condition before they make an offer. One of the few exceptions to this is jewelry , broken or not as long as it has precious stones and metals you are almost sure to get a loan. When it comes to jewelry authenticity counts a heck of a lot more than functionality. Pawn shops see their fair share of fake jewelry, from some who know it is a fake and those that have no idea, and will always run tests on the stone and/or metal to check its authenticity and its value.

For millions of people around the U.S. Pawn Shops are the first choice when they need a quick short term loan and for good reason. This being said pawn shops are also a great place to sell any of your unwanted or unused merchandise with payouts that are always negotiable so if you do find yourself looking for a pawn shop to get a loan from you may also want to look around and see if there are items you may wish to sell instead.