Finder makes money from featured partners, but editorial opinions are our own. Advertiser Disclosure

How to get a pawn loan for fast cash

Use your valuables as collateral for a short-term loan.

A loan from a pawn shop is a quick way to get a little extra cash. But while they’re cheaper than payday loans, you may risk losing your security if you aren’t able to repay your loan.

How do pawn loans work?

Pawn loans require you to put up something valuable as collateral for the money you borrow. They are typically for small amounts — $150 or less — and you’ll have to pay back the principal plus interest, which can vary from as low as 10% to higher than 200% depending on where you live.

These are five basic steps:

  1. Visit a pawn shop. If your have something that’s worth a few hundred dollars, a pawn shop will likely consider it for collateral.
  2. Consider the loan amount. Pawn shops typically offer between 25% and 60% of the item’s resale value. It’s a good idea to shop around when taking out a pawn loan since shops may offer you more for an item than others.
  3. Agree to the loan terms. Loan terms can vary between 30 days to a few months, and the interest you pay on your loan depends on state laws and your personal history with the pawn shop.
  4. Leave the pawn shop with your cash and pawn ticket. You’ll need that pawn ticket in order to collect your item upon repayment, so we recommend taking a photo of the pawn ticket as backup. The pawn ticket will include any fees, the loan term, the grace period and the final date at which you’ll be in default of your loan.
  5. Pay back your loan. If you repay your loan successfully, the pawn shop will return your item. If you fail to repay your loan, the pawn shop sells your item to collect on the loan. You may also be charged extra fees for any late payments.

What can I pawn?

Common items people pawn include:

  • Jewelry
  • Musical instruments
  • Photography equipment
  • Firearms
  • Current electronics
  • Tools

But if you have another type of valuable, you may be able to negotiate a deal with the pawn shop.

What are the benefits of a pawn loan?

  • Quick to obtain. You don’t have to go through a lengthy process to get a pawn loan. Simply bring in a valuable item and ask for a loan.
  • No credit check. Because your loan is backed by your item, you won’t be screened for good credit.
  • You can surrender your item to pay back your loan. If you default on repayment, your credit score isn’t usually affected and you won’t be on the hook for payments. The pawn shop simply keeps your item.

Are there any downsides?

  • Relatively expensive. Finance charges and interest rates for a pawn loan typically run between 5% to 25% a month. This is less expensive than most short-term loan options, but alternate fees could add to the cost.
  • You may not be reimbursed for the surplus. If you don’t repay your loan on time, the pawn shop may sell your item. Even if your item is worth more than your loan amount, the shop may not be required to reimburse you for the profits.
  • Additional fees. Beyond interest charges, you may also pay fees for insurance, storage and more. Keep track of these before you sign your valuable over to the pawn shop.

How does the cash for gold system work?

cash for gold

You’ve likely seen advertisements online or on TV about cash for gold. The process is rather simple, but you should be aware of the potential risks before you sell your old or unwanted jewelry.

  1. Gather all your old jewelry. This includes your rings, necklaces, bracelets and broken pieces. You may also be able to sell non-jewelry items like tooth fillings or old coins.
  2. Research current market value prices. Gold and silver prices fluctuate daily so you’ll want to know how the market is doing before you visit your local pawn shop to make sure you’re getting the most out of selling your things.
  3. Have your old jewelry appraised. If you have an unbroken piece or a nice set containing other valuable materials — like pearls, gems or opals — you should visit a jeweler and have them estimate how much your piece may be worth. This will help you avoid buyers low-balling your offer or you selling something valuable.
  4. Visit a pawn shop or look up online buyers. Your options aren’t limited to these, however. Many payday loan stores and check-cashing services also offer cash for gold. Do your research and read reviews before selling.
  5. Get an offer. The buyer will give you an offer based on the bullion value and karat of your gold or silver. You can accept it then or ask for time to consider it. There’s nothing wrong with visiting multiple pawn shops and comparing offers to find the one that will get you the most cash.
  6. Agree to the offer. If you like what you hear, you can often get paid the same day for your old jewelry. Depending on what you sell, you could leave the store with a nice chunk of change in your pocket.

If you choose to go online, keep in mind that there have been reports over the years of online buyers running scams. They may use the logo of a reputable dealer or simply pay fractions of a percent based on what your gold is worth. Read reviews about cash for gold dealers and make sure the business is legitimate. Until there is a better system in place, it may be worth it to visit a storefront so you can be sure your valuables are safe from scam artists.

Not sure about a pawn loan? Consider these short-term options

1 - 0 of 0
Name Product Filter Values Loan amount Turnaround time Requirements
$500 to $10,000
As soon as next business day
Depends on lender requirements, poor credit borrowers may still be able to qualify for a loan. Must live in an eligible state.
With straightforward, simple qualifications, these loans offer easy approval for people with poor credit.
MoneyLion Instacash advances
$250, $300 with RoarMoney account
3 to 5 business days to external checking account, 12 to 48 hours to RoarMoney account
Bank account must have at least 60 days of activity, show recurring deposits and must have a positive balance
Fee-free, interest-free cash advances up to $250.
OppLoans Installment Loans
$500 to $4,000
1 business day
Direct deposit, Meet minimum income requirements, Live in eligible state
Comes with the option to change your due date so you won’t fall behind on repayments.
CashNetUSA Loan
CashNetUSA Loan
Varies by state
As fast as same business day
Regular source of income, bank account, US citizen or permanent resident, age of majority in your state
Sign up for its discount program to get access to coupons and deals on everything from dining out to tax services.
Fast5kLoans Short-term Loans Connection Service
$100 to $35,000
As soon as the next business day
Regular source of income, Verifiable bank account, US citizen, Ages 18+
Get connected with multiple lenders you might qualify with — even if you have bad credit.
LendYou Short-term Loans
$100 to $2,500
Same business day to 1 business day
$1,000+ monthly income, direct deposit, US citizen or permanent resident, ages 18+
Get offers from potential lenders in minutes by filling out just one online form.

Compare up to 4 providers

More pawn loan alternatives

Since pawn loans can be expensive, consider a few other options first:

  • Sell the item instead. Unless the item you’re pawning is sentimental, you may be better off selling it to the pawn shop and getting the cash outright. Alternately, you could always look for a private buyer. It may take more time, but you could end up with a little more money than a pawn shop can offer.
  • Request bill forbearance. Contact your utility company or creditor and request bill forbearance. Some may even be willing to work out an alternate payment plan.
  • Turn to community assistance. If you’re struggling to make ends meet, check to see if you qualify for any federal or state assistance programs to help make everyday bills a little more manageable.
  • Ask friends or family for help. You’ll likely find they are more than willing to help you out in a financial crisis. Instead of paying expensive interest charges, you may be able to get a loan for free.
  • Call your bank or credit union. They often offer short-term loans at great rates. However, it may be slightly more difficult to qualify for a loan — and your credit will likely be checked.
  • Make extra cash in your spare time. If you have time, consider a side gig to earn extra money. Car and house sharing, selling unwanted items and market research are just a few options.
  • Get a short-term loan. With a short-term loan, you can borrow a small amount of money and repay it fairly quickly. But while they don’t require collateral, you will likely end up paying much more in fees than with a pawn loan.

Bottom line

Pawn loans can be a quick way to get extra cash, but if you’re not sure about using your valuables as collateral, you may want to consider a payday loan instead. And if you’re still not sure, you can compare the difference between pawns loans and payday loans to help make the best decision for your needs.

Frequently asked questions

More guides on Finder

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked provides guides and information on a range of products and services. Because our content is not financial advice, we suggest talking with a professional before you make any decision.

By submitting your comment or question, you agree to our Privacy and Cookies Policy and Terms of Use.

Questions and responses on are not provided, paid for or otherwise endorsed by any bank or brand. These banks and brands are not responsible for ensuring that comments are answered or accurate.
Go to site