Cash and jewelry loans can be a great option if you need cash fast and have valuables to trade. They don’t require a credit check, failing to repay doesn’t hurt your credit score, and you get your cash instantly. Whether you want to collateralize Rolex, estate jewelry, designer handbags, or other valuable items, a short-term collateral loan can be a good option for getting cash quickly without hurting your credit or permanently losing your valuables. However, before entering into an agreement with any lender, it’s crucial that you do your research to ensure that you don’t fall victim to a personal loan scam.
Some pawnbrokers operate illegally and fail to follow loan regulation laws. They charge more than the annual percentage rate (APR), have customers sign illegal contracts, and deceive customers about the interest rates and fees on their loans. Make sure you know the signs of a personal loan scam so that you can avoid falling victim and losing both your valuables and your money. Here are a few warning signs to look out for:
- The lender doesn’t have a license to operate in your state
States require that any lender or pawnbroker register for a license to legally trade. Make sure that you request your lender’s license number and verify their legality before entering into an agreement with them.
- The business has no physical address listed
If the lender has no easily searchable physical address or phone number, be wary. Scammers try to make it difficult to contact them to avoid any confrontation or legal action you may pursue if you do get scammed.
- The loan requires up-front payment
If you’re being asked to put up a payment up front, such as a processing fee, it’s likely that you’re being scammed. Scammers want to make money quickly, so running off with your up-front “fee” is a likely scenario. Legitimate pawnbrokers will never ask you for payment when processing a collateral loan, just your valuable item which they will return once you pay off your loan.
- They have vague loan terms or are hesitant to provide them at all
Illegal loan schemes will likely charge you more interest than the state’s legal maximum rate. They add hidden fees and high rates disguised in complex wording to make as much money off of you as possible. Make sure that your lender is transparent about their fees and interest rates to avoid paying out more than you were planning on (or is legal).
- There are no online reviews available
Legitimate pawnbrokers will have testimonials or online reviews available for your viewing. Using third-party websites such as Yelp to verify that other customers receive satisfactory service is an excellent way to ensure that you won’t be scammed later down the line. If a business has no reviews online, it’s likely because they’ve deleted or hidden bad reviews to avoid alerting potential customers to their deceptive business practices.
Pawn shop loans are a wonderful tool to have if you need cash to last you until the next pay period, or if you’re looking to build your credit score. However, it’s imperative that you perform thorough research and stay vigilant so that you avoid falling victim to a collateral loan scam. If you need a safe and reliable cash loan for jewelry or other valuables, call Watch & Wares today or stop by our location in Old Town Orange. One of our highly-experienced professionals will be happy to walk you through the process and provide you with a fair value cash loan.