Welcome to Westside

  • Frequently Asked Questions

    1: How does a pawnshop work?

    Pawnbrokers lend money on items of value ranging from gold and diamond jewelry to musical instruments, televisions, tools, household items, and more! These items maintain their value over a reasonable period of time and are easy to store, especially jewelry. All customers provide collateral, eliminating the need to distinguish high risk from low risk borrowers. Typically, loans are small averaging between $70 and $100, although they can be as small as $5 or as high as $100,000 depending on the value of the collateral. Contracts at Westside Loan are for four months, with a ten day grace period after the due date. Generally, interest rates will vary with the amount of the loan. The process is much the same as any other lending institution, with the primary difference being the size of the loan, the collateral and the holding of the merchandise until the interest or the loan has been repaid or the loan period expires.

    2: Why would someone go to a pawn shop to get a loan?

    Pawnshops offer consumers a quick, convenient and confidential way to borrow money. A short term cash need can be met with no credit check or legal consequences if the loan is not repaid. A customer receives a percentage of the value the broker believes the collateral would bring in a sale. When a customer pawns an item, terms of the loan are printed on a pawn ticket that is given to the customer. The ticket states the customers name, address, type of identification provided to the pawnbroker, a description of the item, amount lent, maturity date, interest rate and amount that must be paid to redeem the item. This piece of paper is the customer's written contract.

    3: What is the foreclosure procedure?

    If a customer defaults by not repaying the loan, the collateral becomes the property of the pawnshop after the loan is overdue by a specific amount of time. After the due date, we send out a notice, notifying the customer that their items in pawn are overdue, and will be sold after a certain amount of time, if the interest is not paid on.

    4: Do most pawning customers lose their merchandise?

    On average, 70 to 80 percent of all loans are repaid. Repeat customers make up most of our business, similar to any other lending or retail establishment. Pawnbrokers know the vast majority of their customers because they often borrow against the same items over and over again. Pawnbrokers offer non-recourse loans, looking only to the item being pledged to recover their investment should the borrower choose not to repay the loan. It is solely the choice of the customer whether he/she elects to repay the loan.

    5: How can I be sure the merchandise I purchase at a pawnshop isn't stolen?

    Less than one fifth of one percent of all collateral is even suspect as having been misappropriated in any manner. Thieves and robbers are a pawnbrokers worst enemy. Pawnbrokers work closely with local law enforcement to catch and prosecute these perpetrators. A customer must provide positive identification to show evidence of the transaction. This information is then presented to the police department, therefore decreasing the likelihood that a thief would bring stolen merchandise to a pawnshop. Pawnbrokers are trained to look for signs of stolen property to avoid these costly mistakes. It is not in the interests of the pawnbroker to accept potentially stolen merchandise.

    6: Should photographing or fingerprinting pawnshop customers be required?

    Pawnshop customers provide full identification with each transaction, including fingerprints. A copy of these records go to local law enforcement. Additionally, most pawnshops maintain surveillance cameras in their stores.

    7: What is required to get a loan?

    First you need something of value, whether it's a piece of jewelry, instruments, a television, tools, etc. On top of that you are required to provide a valid driver's license or ID card. After we write the loan, you are then required to sign and put your thumb print on the pawn ticket.

    8: What is the difference between buying at a pawnshop and buying at a retail store?

    Mainly price. Pawnshops can offer you merchandise ranging from 1/3 to 1/2 off retail prices.