People have been taking advantage of instant cash loans from a “pawnshop near me” for centuries. Along the way, regulations have been created which control some of the terms of a pawnshop loan. Grace periods have been part of the tradition all along, so understanding how they work will help you choose the best pawnshop and help you get the most money for stuff you have lying around the house.
Laws vary, from state to state, but knowing how long your local pawnshop will hold your items after direct sale or pawn will avoid nasty surprises when you return to pick them up. Let’s talk about the pawn loan grace period, interest rates, and the easy lending policies that might let you use your valuables to get a convenient short-term loan.
What Is a Pawn Loan Grace Period?
A loan grace period is the length of time after missing a payment and before the lender claims your collateral. Unlike unsecured loans, a pawnbroker makes a collateral loan on the valuable items you bring in. It might sound complicated, but it’s actually quite simple.
Let’s say you bring in an antique watch and ask for a pawn loan. The watch would be your guarantee that you will pay off the loan. If you can’t (or decide not to) make a loan payment, the watch will become the property of the pawnshop. The grace period is the amount of time the pawnshop will give you to make good on the loan before they put Grampa’s old watch up for sale.
How Long Is the Grace Period for a Pawnshop Loan?
State laws now govern the minimum grace period and the maximum interest rate for a pawnshop loan, but many shops will offer longer grace periods and lower interest rates to get and keep good customers. So, checking in with a “pawnshop near me,” or one in your area, is the best way to get the right answers.
In New York State and NYC, for example, the minimum grace period is four months, and interest rates are capped at 4% per month.1 Other states have grace periods as short as 30 days. Extensions to the grace period are up to the individual pawnshop, but it always helps to talk with the manager if you need more time. Sometimes they will renew or re-write your loan.
What if I Just Want to Sell Grampa’s Watch for Quick Cash?
Then you are good to go! Just tell the pawnshop you want to sell your stuff outright. They will look your items over and, usually, make you a cash offer on the spot. When you don’t have time to post classified ads and don’t want to meet with strangers behind the bowling alley, a trusted local pawnshop is a fast and safe alternative.
Even if you sell things outright, the pawnshop is probably required to hold on to them for at least a week. This protects them from selling stolen property and is usually a state requirement. If your sister screams bloody murder about Grampa’s watch, one of you can probably go down and buy it back.
Quick Questions to Ask About Personal Cash Loans
Different pawnshops have different fees and policies while they hold your stuff. It pays to ask some questions before you hand over Grampa’s watch or your new gaming system. Read over the paperwork and ask some things outright, such as:
- How much is the monthly interest?
- What is the amount of the payments and when are they due?
- What is the total amount I will pay back?
- Will you send me any reminders?
- Do you offer extensions if I need more time?
- Are my things insured while they are in your possession?
- Where will you keep my stuff?
- What extra fees will there be?
Very often, storing valuable items might add a fee to the loan; this is pretty standard. Storage or vault fees are one example. If that watch is worth a bundle, you will want it locked up in a vault anyway.
What if There Isn’t Any Pawn Loan Paperwork?
If a certain pawnshop says all you need is a handshake, it is probably wise to pick up your stuff and find a more reputable place to do business. Pawnshop loans have a fairly standard agreement, and someone who doesn’t want a paper trail has their own reasons for it. You can be sure that customer convenience is not the reason there’s no contract.
Imagine making all your payments and coming back to pick up your PlayStation only to find that suddenly no one there recognizes you. Not a pretty picture for game night. Without a contract, it’s just your word against theirs.
Good Things to Use as Pawn Loan Collateral
When you want to borrow money quickly without credit checks and hassles, you probably own some items the pawnshop would be willing to consider as collateral. Of course, they want to see items with a high resale value, and they will offer higher loan amounts for things like gold or silver that have a market price.
Look in closet corners and attic nooks for things like:
- Gold jewelry stamped with purity ratings like PT, 18k, 750, or 750/1000
- Silver bars, pure silver coins, or high silver content U.S. coins minted in 1964 or earlier
- Designer (with a recognizable name) or collectible clothing and accessories
- High-end watches and new electronic equipment
- Signed sports memorabilia
- Bicycles, lawn and garden equipment, weight sets, and even automobiles are accepted by pawnshops that specialize in these items
Preparing to Pawn
To get the best deal possible, don’t just scoop up some items and run down to the pawnshop. There are a few things you can do before you go which will pay off big-time.
- Call ahead to find a pawnshop that trades in the types of items you have. Just because one pawnshop doesn’t deal in baseball cards or antique dishes, it doesn’t mean you are out of luck.
- Clean or polish your items and make them look their best, and test or start any equipment to make sure it’s running well.
- Research your items, if possible, to get an idea of their resale value, but remember that a pawnshop can only afford to offer you about 30-60% of an item’s retail value.
- Bring along any documentation or certifications of authenticity to get the best loan amount possible.
Choosing the Best Pawnshop
In NYC and across the country, local pawnshops have been providing fast personal loans to the community for generations. Each one earns a reputation over time. Of course, you want a pawnshop that customers trust to be fair and discreet when they need a loan. How do you know which one to choose?
- Google it. Check online info. Look for reviews that are mostly positive, especially involving loans.
- Shops that have been in business for a while or which have several locations are likely to still be around when you want to pick up your stuff.
- Read their website to find out more about their loan process and what items they accept as collateral.
- Call and ask some questions. Pawnshop employees might be busy, but they should still be nice on the phone and confirm that they might offer a loan on your type of item. They will encourage you to bring your things in before they commit to a loan amount.
Or Just Call Us
If you are looking for a “pawnshop near me” in New York City or nearby, call or visit with us at GEM Pawnbrokers. We have been in business for more than 70 years, we make the highest offers on your collateral pawn loans, and we have locations in Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens, Westchester, and Long Island.
With us, you can get a loan on a used vehicle or electronics or just get some quick cash for those unused gift cards you are carrying around right now. Call today for more information or just stop by, knowing you are choosing an industry leader that abides by all state laws and our own Best Practices Policy.