Table of Contents:
- Can I Pawn My Car?
- Should I Pawn My Car?
- How Can I Pawn My Car?
- The Benefits of Pawning Your Car at The Vault Jewelry and Loan
Lots of situations can mean the need for quick cash. Maybe you have emergency medical bills, or you’re looking for extra help between paychecks. If you can’t borrow from friends or family, you might need a fast way to make ends meet.
An auto pawn loan can get you the money you need in the short term. Learn the benefits of using your car as collateral and how to pawn it.
Can I Pawn My Car?
Many people only associate pawn shops with electronics, jewelry and other small valuables, but pawnbrokers typically buy, sell and pawn a variety of items. You can use cars as collateral for a loan, and the process for pawning your vehicle is generally quick and easy.
Around 2.4% of Americans use their cars as collateral when they need a fast loan, making it not as uncommon as you would think.
Pawnbrokers will assess your car and offer an appraisal in the same way they consider other valuables like jewelry and precious metals. You can still receive a fair price at a pawn shop when using your car as collateral.
If you’re still unsure about the process of pawning your car, do your research to find and direct any questions to high-end pawn shops that are reputable and trustworthy. High-end shops typically buy, sell and pawn fine jewelry, designer brands and luxury items. Some of these high-end shops even sell rare and antique items and cars. Pawn experts provide excellent customer service and keep your car safe during the repayment period.
Should I Pawn My Car?
A 2021 study showed that just 39% of Americans could pay off a surprise expense. When you’re strapped for cash, it can be tricky dealing with banks or asking for money from friends and family. If you’re already in debt, you might be weighing your options and wondering whether you should take out a credit card to cover that unexpected expense.
Auto pawn loans are a fantastic option when you have a low credit score and don’t have the time for a lengthy application process through traditional bank loans. When you pawn your vehicle at a reputable pawn shop, you can trust that your car is in good hands as you get the money you need to cover surprise expenses.
Traditional Bank Loans vs. Auto Pawn Loans
You might be looking at traditional bank loans or credit cards to pay off surprise bills. Out of the Americans surveyed, 18% said they would pay off an unexpected payment through credit card loans.
But bank loans and credit cards might not be convenient or possible, depending on your situation. Typically, the higher your credit score, the higher likelihood a bank approves you for a credit card. Just 21% of Americans had what FICO determines to be a “good” credit score in 2020.
If you are among those who have low credit, auto pawn loans are a fast way to help your financial situation. Other benefits of auto pawn loans include:
- Get approved fast: If you don’t qualify for a traditional bank loan, like if you don’t have a high enough credit score, collateral loans might be the ideal situation. If a bank denies you a loan, your chances are still high to receive a collateral loan. Auto pawn loans are convenient and fast compared to bank loans, which can take weeks.
- Receive lower interest rates: Interest rates for a car pawn loan can be lower than bank loans and have a more significant long-term benefit. Since you’re only borrowing money for a short time with a pawn loan, you won’t have an annual percentage rate (APR) to pay.
- Pay it back in a shorter timeframe: Usually, your repayment time is 30 days to pay off the loan plus interest and fees. You can also extend your loan by paying the interest and fees owed. Personal bank loans are longer, so you’ll typically pay them back for five or more years.
- Maintain your credit score: Since pawn shops don’t run credit checks, you won’t have to worry about credit penalties for not paying off the loan. You can also build your positive credit score in other areas with the cash you secure.
Auto pawn loans can provide that supplemental assistance you need when credit cards aren’t an option. You can be approved in minutes and receive money regardless of your credit history.
Pawning Your Car vs. Selling
When you need fast cash and have a second car, you might consider selling your vehicle. While there are benefits to selling, pawning might be the best option for you when you need cash fast. Advantages to pawning include:
- Borrowing more money: Because you physically contribute your car to secure a loan, it reduces risks for your pawn shop since they can always sell the car to recoup the money for the loan. It’s easier for you to receive a higher loan, then. When you can’t sell your vehicle, you can turn to pawn loans to get the best price for your car in a convenient timeframe.
- Getting money quickly: When you sell your car privately, the process can take weeks while you wait for prospective buyers to test out your vehicle. You get your money fast and upfront at a pawn shop when your broker accepts your vehicle and agrees to the deal.
- Taking back your car: When you pawn rather than sell, the car is still yours. High-end pawn shops can store your vehicle in a safe and secure location, and you always have the option to pick it up after paying off your loan.
Weigh Your Options Before Pawning Your Car
When it comes to auto pawn loans versus bank loans or pawning versus selling, there are options you’ll need to weigh when you need fast cash:
- Experience no credit repercussions: If your credit score is low or you’re in debt, there’s no risk for pawning your car since pawn shops don’t run credit checks. If you can’t pay back an auto pawn loan, the pawnbroker sells your vehicle and there’s no hit to your credit score or any other repercussions.
- Get a fair price: When you sell your car, it may take weeks to receive any money from it. Depending on how quickly you need cash, you might end up selling it to a trade buyer for less than it’s worth. You know price expectations upfront when you bring it to a pawn shop since brokers first communicate with you about your loan and repayment period.
- Trust the process: Pawn shops are regulated through the Truth in Lending Act (TILA), The National Pawnbrokers Association, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) and the Federal Trade Commission. Be confident in your decision to pawn your car when you borrow from a reputable source.
When you’re trying to decide if you should pawn your car, always consider high-end pawn shops in your area and ask questions throughout the process of pawning your vehicle for a loan.
Things to Remember When Pawning Your Car
Though there are many advantages to using your vehicle as collateral, there are a few things you should take note of before bringing it to a pawn shop:
- Your loan will accrue interest over time: Pawn shops will set interest fees to ensure you pay your loan on time. Your interest rate usually amounts to less than bank overdraft fees, credit card late fees or utility reconnect fees.
- The amount you receive isn’t always the car’s entire value: You might only receive a fraction of your car’s value due to interest and fees, like storage costs. Also, some pawn shops might be looking for a specific year on your car or specific models to pawn.
- The pawn shop can sell your car: If you are unable to pay off your loan for some reason, the pawn shop will sell your car to cover the amount and any other fees. That’s why an auto pawn loan might be a great option for those with two cars since it’s best practice to pawn the items you won’t miss.
Always weigh your options before pawning your car. The advantages may outweigh other considerations, depending on your financial needs and other life factors.
The good news with auto pawn loans is that pawnbrokers won’t report you to collections or the credit bureau if you can’t pay your loan for any reason. Pawnbrokers are upfront and will communicate the rules of the deal when you bring your vehicle into the shop.
How Can I Pawn My Car?
When you decide you’d like to pawn your car, there are a couple of steps you’ll follow to use your car as collateral to get a loan. The method will change depending on your state and pawn shop, but it’s generally a quick and easy process to release the money you need.
You’ll first want to provide the necessary documents to apply for an auto pawn loan, get your car ready for assessment and head to the pawn shop to strike a deal.
1. Gather Necessary Documents to Pawn Your Car
Some states require proof of income or state residency. Most pawn shops will require you to be 18 years old and provide an ID. If you’re hoping to pawn your car in Virginia, you’ll need to provide identification such as your driver’s license or another form of a government-issued ID. Other examples of documents include:
- Proof of income: If your pawn shop requires proof of income, you’ll want to bring bank statements or paychecks to verify this information. If you don’t have a job, you can obtain documents that prove retirement income, unemployment or disability assistance.
- Proof of state residency: If your pawn shop wants proof of residency, utility bills with your full name stated on the document will work. Examples of utility bills are gas, electric, water or phone bill if you’re using a landline.
2. Get Your Car Ready for Appraisal
After you gather the necessary documents, you’ll want to get your car ready for a faster appraisal at the pawn shop. To ensure your vehicle is in quality condition, you’ll want to:
- Vacuum the interior
- Wash the exterior
- Service mechanical fluids
- Replace windshield wipers
- Fix cracked headlights or tail lights
- Remove bumper stickers
- Put air in your tires
- Clear out your glove box
Again, every pawn shop has its own appraisal process. But it’s a great idea to do general maintenance on your vehicle before taking it in.
3. Take Your Vehicle to the Pawn Shop
When you gather the necessary documents and clean your car, you’re ready to take it to the pawn shop. The process for pawning your car is simple and could look something like this:
- Appraisal of your vehicle: When you take your car into a pawn shop, they’ll first assess its value to give you a price.
- Reach an agreement: When you and the broker discuss the loan amount and you agree to pay it back, your money is released.
- Receive a ticket: The shop will provide you with a pawn ticket with a description of your car, your loan amount, the interest rate and any fees after your money is released. The ticket will also include the date of the transaction. Hold onto your ticket because you’ll need to present it when you return to pay your loan and claim your vehicle.
- Repay your loan: You’ll typically receive a repayment time of about 30 days, depending on the pawn shop, after which you’ll need to return to pay off the loan.
- Grace period: If needed, some pawn shops offer a grace period of five days after the loan expires to receive your vehicle without late fees. In Virginia, the pawnbroker must hold an item for 15 days after the loan expires before selling it.
- Pick up your car: When you return to the pawn shop after the repayment period has passed, you’ll present your ticket, pay off your loan and any interest and fees, and collect your vehicle.
Feel free to ask questions about your auto pawn loan if you need clarification. Your pawnbroker wants the transaction to be smooth and agreeable for all parties, so always communicate clearly and ask any necessary questions before signing your contract.
The Benefits of Pawning Your Car at The Vault Jewelry and Loan
There are many reasons you might need fast cash at times in your life. Whether you have emergency bills, surprise vet payments or just need to make extra cash off your second car, auto pawn loans are a fantastic option.
The Vault Jewelry and Loan is a high-end pawn shop serving Northern Virginia residents. You can trust our friendly experts in the field to communicate with you every step of the pawning process.
If you have questions about how we can serve you, or you’d like to use your vehicle as collateral to get a loan, contact us today!
James (Jamie) F., is the manager of our Centerpointe Way location in Woodbridge, VA. With over 14 years in the pawn business, he is an expert in Diamonds, Gold, and Luxury Watches. He is fluent in Spanish and English and enjoys helping customers’ find the item they want at a great deal. Banks and Big Box stores have convinced many that new and expensive is the only way to buy. He aims to change that paradigm and provide exceptional service and quality products at a bargain price to every person who walks through our doors.