Pawn Loans

We are licensed by the state of California (license number 3706-0987) and by the city of Escondido (license number 119651)  to make loans on items of value. Although we occasionally do make loans on general merchandise, we prefer jewelry and precious metals as collateral.

During the course of the loan your merchandise will be safely stored in our specially designed steel reinforced vault. For further protection, we have a state of the art alarm system which is monitored 24 hours per day, professionally designed and installed security gates, a private security patrol, and a 24 hour video monitor which transmits and stores images off premises. Likely your valuables are even safer with us than when they are at your home!

No loans are made by mail order. Merchandise to be used as collateral must be brought to us by the legal owner. Proper photo identification is required, and the borrower must be at least 18 years of age. As with other aspects of our business, we often get repeat business from pawn customers. This tells us that these valued clients are happy with the way they are treated. If you are in need of some ready cash we invite you to come in and see us.

Frequently Asked Questions about pawn loans.  Please Note - We offer the following information as a free source of help.  Although we have been in business for many years we do not believe we always have the best answer.  If you come up with better answers, please share them with us.   If you have a pertinent question which is not answered below please contact us and we'll do our best to help you.

1.  Q: Don't pawn shops just deal in stolen merchandise?   A: You may be surprised to know that in a legitimate pawnshop like ours very few items ever turn out to be stolen.  It does happen, but not very often.   When we buy anything that is considered identifiable or loan money to a person on a piece of merchandise we fill out a comprehensive police report which describes the property and the borrower (or seller as the case may be) in detail with all pertinent serial numbers and ID numbers.  We also get a thumb print and a close up color video of the client.  The police reports are turned in to the Escondido Police Department.  The videos are saved for a period of six months.  Crooks generally sell their stolen goods out on the street or at places which don't pay much attention to the law.  I have served as president of the San Diego County Pawnbrokers' Association, and I can tell you that some of the finest people I know are in this business.

2.  Q: Don't you rip off poor people by charging them too much interest? A: The rates charged by us are fixed by the California State Legislature, which believe me is quite concerned in protecting the rights of the customer.   The loans we make are often to people who want to borrow an amount of money that is too small for a bank to mess with.  In the case where the customer needs to borrow a few thousand dollars for a month or two we actually are quite competitive with banks.   The main reason for this is that banks seem to be able to dream up all sorts of "loan origination" fees which the borrower has to pay.  We charge a maximum of $5.00 to write a loan, period.  Try that at a bank!

3. Q:  What about people who borrow over and over on the same piece of merchandise.  Don't they wind up paying more in interest and fees than the amount of the loan?  A: Yes, this does happen, and I can tell you we have counseled people to try to get them to stop - and they did.   Actually what they did was stop coming here.  There are other places in town where the free (and unwanted) counseling wasn't offered.  We go to the grocery store and we see people buying carts full of junk food items for themselves and their children.   A lot of people over-indulge in smoking and drinking.  Las Vegas sees the same people over and over again lose what is left of their paycheck.  My wife works for a company that sells cars.  Many times people will wrangle a way to qualify for a loan on an expensive sports car when they should be looking to buy an economy model.   Often times the bank has to take the car away.  I could go on and on - actually I already have.  I guess the whole point is this: We can't "fix" the world.  What we can do is treat everyone who comes in here with dignity and respect - and I think we do a pretty good job with that.

Let me tell you a story about a sewing machine.  For several years a single mother with three little kids would bring her sewing machine here and borrow $15 on it.  She would usually come back in a few weeks and redeem it for $22, even though the interest on the loan is a flat $5 for three months (the other two dollars was for writing the loan).  She could have kept the money for two more months at no extra charge.  She is one of the ones that eventually paid more in charges than the amount of the loan.  We concluded that she just enjoyed coming in here and making business transactions.  She was quite attractive and would always look at her image on the security monitor and toss her hair back over her shoulder.   I truthfully don't think she actually needed to ever borrow that $15.  She was in essence paying us $7 every month or so to come in here and make herself feel important.   When you consider she got to come in twice for the $7 (once to drop off the sewing machine and once to pick it up) she was only paying $3.50 per visit.  When I go to the barber for a haircut he charges me quite a bit more than that amount, and I don't think I look or feel very much better when I come out than when I went in!  When you look at it from that perspective the sewing machine lady was getting quite a bargain.

4.  Q: Wow, that was a pretty touching story.  Do you have any others?    A: Hey, anyone who will listen to me ramble on isn't all bad.  Actually there is another story that did happen here at this store and which  I believe shows a pretty practical use of borrowing money in a pawn shop.  Mrs. X came in quite distraught.  She was a 28 year old pretty nice looking lady who was getting a divorce from a 55 year old multi-millionaire.  At the time she came in the millionaire had pretty much made it clear she wasn't welcome in the house any longer.  She had hired a lawyer and was going to get a temporary allowance in one month.  What she needed right away was enough money for a hotel room, meals, and a rental car to get her through that one month period.  All she had was a big diamond ring.  We loaned her $4000 on it and charged $200 in interest, plus $2 for writing the loan.  The month passed, she had ample money to live on during that time, and she came back and redeemed the ring.  Now she simply could not have gotten that loan at a bank, and even if she had been able to I suspect that the fees and interest would at least have been comparable to ours - not to mention the paperwork delays.

5.  Q: I need to borrow some money but all I have is my computer.  What about it? Sorry.  We have too many of those sitting around now.  They simply become obsolete too fast.  We have a brand new system back in the store room.  It has never been out of the box.  The borrower has renewed the loan twice.  If she decides not to come back and pick it up we'll have one more boat anchor to live with.

6. Q: What will you loan money on, then?  A: We like to loan money on the things we deal in, simply because we already have a clientele that will buy such items from us if you default.  We occasionally do make loans on tools, electronics, and musical instruments.  We do not loan on guns.   Other stores specialize in making loans on merchandise that we don't carry.   We would be happy to direct you to one of these if you will contact us.

7.  Q: What if I forget about my loan and let it expire?  Do I lose the merchandise? A: If your loan expires we will send a reminder notice to you and you will have a ten day grace period to either redeem your merchandise or pay the applicable charges and rewrite the loan for another four months.   Keep in mind that if you move you should let us know your new address.  It is not our responsibility that you receive the notice - only that is was sent to you at the address you have given us to use.

8.  Q: What if I can't come up with the money in the required time period? A: We do not want your merchandise.  If you contact us and make an assurance that you will be in sometime soon to bring your loan current we will work with you.  Keep in mind, though, that we are in business and have lots of bills to pay.  We can't let the matter drag on and on.

9.  Q: How long is the loan for? A: Four months and ten days.  By state law a pawn loan is written for a period of more than four months.  The state association's legal counsel has advised that four months and ten days is more than sufficient to satisfy the law.

10.  Q: Last year a ring was stolen from my house.  It is in your show case.  Don't you have to give it back to me?   A: Our policy is that we do not want to traffic in any stolen merchandise.  If you see something in our store that you feel belongs to you please tell us.  We will immediately take it out of the showcase and put a hold on it.  You must then go to the police and fill out a report.  If the ring indeed proves to be yours you will get it back, but we do have a legal claim on it as we obtained it in good faith from a person of legal age who signed a bill of sale attesting that it was their property.  The whole matter of ownership has to be satisfied in a court of law of through some other appropriate legal process.  What we prefer to be done is that the thief be punished and made to pay us back the money we paid out, and your merchandise is restored to you.   In truth, this has actually only happened once at this store since I have worked here. 

Several years ago a young man brought us some dental gold (actually several old gold fillings and crowns).  Now dental gold is not considered identifiable personal property and as such does not come under the reporting law.  Generally we buy it, have the customer sign a little receipt, and that's the end of the matter.   In this particular case it seemed that such a young person shouldn't have so much dental gold - over $300 worth.  So I filled out a police report and actually called the police to tip them off that something could be wrong.  It turned out the young man had been painting some professional offices at night and had stolen the gold from a dentist's office.  He had to go to jail and we gave all of the gold back to the dentist.  As part of the young man's punishment he had to pay us back the money, which he did in a series of checks that actually were issued by the county for him.   To my great sadness I read his name in the paper not long after he got out of jail.   He was killed in a car wreck at the age of twenty-two.

11.  Q: Will you loan me money on my car?   A: No.  You can borrow money on your car at some pawn shops.  In San Diego County we can recommend Randy Wasserman at Auto Pawn Of San Diego.  The phone number is 858-695-6900.  There possibly are other legitimate businesses in the area that will loan money on your car, but in fact Randy is the only one I know well enough to recommend.  By the way, don't expect to get a loan from a pawn broker and then be able to drive your car.  Whatever a pawnbroker loans money on will be kept by him until the loan is paid back.

12.  Q: I need a bunch of money, actually $125,000.  Can you loan it to me? A: Yes.  The only rub is that you have to leave something here that is worth more than the amount of the loan.

13.  Q: I think you're bluffing.  I'll bet you can't loan me that much money.  Am I right?  A: We do not bluff.

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Copyright 2004 Escondido Coin & Loan, Inc. All rights reserved.
Revised: January 13, 2006