We have Pawnbroking to thank for the discovery of the Americas. Christopher Columbus' voyage was funded largely by the proceeds from pawning Queen Isabella of Spain's jewels. Pawnbroking as we know it today dates back to Italy in the 1400s, when the Medici family was a dominant financial power. When the family divided, parting ways, half of the family became bankers and the others became pawnbrokers.
The side of the family that started their business in Pawnbroking, incorporated the now instantly recognizable sign of the pawnbroker, the famous three gold balls. The origins of banking and pawnbroking are quite interconnected. Pawnbroking is, in fact, another form of banking. Pawnbroking may have earned itself an unfair reputation in the past, however, there is no doubt that its image has changed substantially over the past two decades. The industry has seen an increase in popularity with customers now preferring this convenient form of borrowing money.
Today, there is a wide range of customers utilizing Pawnbrokers’ services. They are ordinary people, who may wish to borrow money for a short period of time. Some however, may need a little more time to redeem their valuables, in which there are certain Pawn Shops that offer extended loan periods. Pawnbroking customers use their own property as collateral for the cash they need, to tide them over until payday, or until they have the cash to redeem their items. This gives the customer a comfortable feeling they are simply, borrowing from themselves. No fuss, no favors, no extending or creating unsecured credit with the threat of negative credit ratings or 'blacklisting' as it is known, if the loan is not repaid. Fully secured, straightforward and transparent credit in minutes. No wonder so many customers see pawnbroking as 'just another way of borrowing money'.
When choosing a pawn shop to do business with, it is important to do one’s research. How long the shop has been in business is significant. Longevity indicates loyal customers over the years. Enquiring about loan terms (i.e. length the loan is good for and the loan rates) is also a must.