New England pawn loans are a safe and secure way to get a fast cash loan for a short period of time to take care of unexpected expenses. Pawn loans have also been around for thousands of years, dating to the ancient Chinese, 3,000 years ago. Queen Isabella even pawned the crown jewels to fund Christopher Columbus’ journey to America. While these loans are regulated by state and local authorities, there are some pawnbrokers who are willing to implement medieval terms on their pawn loans that customers should be aware of before accepting the loan.
Generally, a pawnbroker will appraise the merchandise you bring in to determine how much they can lend. If it’s gold or diamond jewelry, electronics, musical instruments, or just about anything else, a good pawnbroker will be happy to explain how they came up with that value. This doesn’t mean you have to agree with them, just as long as you understand how they came up with the amount. It doesn’t matter what you paid for the item, what the history behind it is, or even if you recently saw it for sale for a larger value, it’s simply based on their parameters.
The part consumers need to pay careful attention to are the terms of the pawn loan. Again, most pawn loans are regulated by state and local authorities so things like fees, interest rates or the length of the loan are set for the pawnbroker. In Massachusetts and Rhode Island where Empire Loan operates, loans are for 4 months and 3 months respectively. Certain unscrupulous pawnbrokers in these areas may tell customers they need to come in to pay their interest monthly or that the loan is only good for 30 days, but that is wrong, and illegal. It is up to the customer to say something or simply walk out.
The interest and fees are set in Massachusetts by local cities and towns where Empire Loan operates and varies accordingly. In Empire Loan’s Providence Rhode Island Pawn Shop locations the interest was set by the legislature. The staff at either Empire Loan location in Providence will explain the 3 month term and 5% monthly interest to you. Any pawnbroker in Rhode Island should tell you the same, but if they don’t, run, don’t walk, out the door and find the nearest Empire Loan location.
Other fees that pawnbrokers sometimes charge include photo fees, origination and closing costs, lost ticket fees and late fees. While many of these fees are legal, pay attention to how much they are. We recently discovered one competitor in Rhode Island offering 1 month loans and charging a $35.00 late fee on top of a $7.00 origination fee and a $7.00 closing fee on a $100.00 loan. This means if you are 1 day late (don’t forget that’s 1 month and 1 day) in redeeming the $100.00 loan, it would cost you $154! At a legitimate pawn shop like one of Empire Loan’s 2 Providence locations, that same $100.00 loan for the same 31 days would only cost you $113.00. Since by law a pawn loan in Providence is for 3 months, if you waited the entire 3 months to redeem your $100.00 loan it would actually only cost you $118.00.
The bottom line is: Buyer Beware. Don’t be ripped off by other dishonest New England pawnbrokers. Ask questions and read the fine print. Since 1985, Empire Loan has been helping people get the cash they need, fair and square. It’s that easy.