What is a Pawn Loan? Here’s How It Compares to the Alternatives

Where can I borrow money? It’s a question many of us ask ourselves at some point in our lives. Perhaps it’s a big milestone, like buying a house or a car, starting a business, or planning to grow your family. Then again, maybe you simply need a little cash to pay a bill or make rent. For cases when you need a large amount of money – like when you’re buying a house or a car – you can get a loan from banks. For others – say, if you need several hundreds of dollars – you can take out a pawn loan.

There’s a little mystery surrounding pawn loans because they’re different from other methods of borrowing small amounts of money, which include:

  • credit card cash advances.
  • payday loans.
  • car title loans.

It also doesn’t help that there are a lot of misconceptions about pawn loans in general. When you’re strapped for cash and need money now, comparing your options can feel daunting. Let’s break it down.

Credit Card Cash Advances

A credit card cash advance is a short-term loan. The cash is borrowed against your credit limit. This is a quick and easy option if:

  1. you have a credit card.
  2. your card has sufficient available credits.

If you don’t have a credit card yet, you will have to complete an application form first and submit the necessary requirements – like sources of income – to the credit card company. They will have to conduct a credit check before they give approval and send you your own card.

While it might be an option, obtaining a credit card cash advance has a few drawbacks.

  • The process can be time-consuming.
  • You’re not guaranteed any money.
  • Late payments can hurt your credit rating, and the fees are costly.

Payday Loans

Generally speaking, payday loans are short-term loans with high interest, usually due on your next payday. How high, you’re wondering? Typically, it ranges from 15% to 30%. One pro is payday loans typically don’t require a credit check, but beyond that, there is much concern. The drawbacks here are clear:

  • You have very little time to pay them off – the terms are difficult to meet.
  • Interest tends to be higher.
  • The lender won’t take into consideration your other financial obligations.
  • The lender has multiple legal options they can take against you should you not pay them back.

Car Title Loans

With a car title loan, you offer your car title as collateral. Many people believe this is a great deal because your credit score doesn’t matter. Proceed with caution! Title loans are actually banned in many states, and for good reason.

  • The monthly interest rate can be as high as 25%.
  • These loans are meant to be paid off in one lump sum, except most people can’t afford that.
  • Many of these loans end with the borrower losing their car.

Pawn Loans

At this point, you’re probably scared of taking out loans, period. Hold that thought. Pawn loans are a favorable method of borrowing money largely because they offer three things the other options don’t:

  • Your credit isn’t involved in any manner.
  • Fastest loan process. You can walk out with cash in a few minutes.
  • If you fail to pay back the loan, there will be no one chasing you down or interest payment piling up, you just forfeit the item you pawned.
  • The interest rate is lower than many alternatives if you pay it back in one month (and in our case, significantly lower).

What is a pawn loan, exactly? Let’s expand on some of the basics, discuss what you can expect, and look at how John’s Pawn Shop handles things differently from the competitors.


To Get a Loan

To get a pawn loan, you only need two things: your ID and collateral – like jewelry. The amount you can borrow will depend on the collateral you provide – not your credit rating.

Determining Value

The loan value of your item will be appraised by a professional pawnbroker. The amount will be based on the item’s current market price and its estimated resale value. We conduct careful research to ensure we give a fair and honest price for your item.

The End of the Loan

The collateral can be reclaimed once the loan has been paid off. If you’re ultimately unable to pay off the loan or simply decide you don’t want to, you can leave us the collateral instead and your credit will not take a hit.


You pay off your loan within an agreed upon period. Most pawn shops allow three months, but John’s Pawn Shop can give you a term of up to four months. If you end up needing more time to pay off the loan and reclaim your item, we can hang on to it for longer.

Interest Rate

Most commonly, pawn shops (in Las Vegas) charge an interest rate of 13% per month and offer a 3 month term. We only charge 8% – the lowest you will find in Las Vegas and give you a 4 month term. Repayment terms are far more manageable than other types of loans, and you will not get caught in a vicious cycle of debt.


We will provide you a ticket after we’ve received the collateral. The ticket is to be used when you’re paying for the loan and claiming your collateral. In the case of a lost ticket, most shops charge you a fee. Because we manage all of your information digitally, we simply look you up in our secure database, with no extra cost to you.

The Benefits of Pawn Loans

You’ve probably realized by now pawn loans offer a number of unique benefits other loans don’t.

  • They’re quick – come into our shop and get money right away.
  • You don’t need a bank account, co-signer, or credit check – only proof of identification.
  • Getting a pawn loan doesn’t have an effect on your credit, either.
  • The interest rate can’t be beaten.
  • If you cannot repay your loan, you will not be contacted by debt collectors or sued.
  • John’s offers more flexibility than other shops. We will work with you to meet your needs.

When it comes to borrowing money, it’s crucial to read the fine print. With credit card cash advances, car title loans, and payday loans, there is a lot of fine print that can land you in hot water should you not pay close enough attention. Pawn loans are significantly more transparent, with no strings attached.

Interested in getting a pawn loan? Stop by John’s Pawn Shop today, or contact us at (702) 213-3331.

4 Reasons Why Pawn Shops Are More Ethical Than You Think

Pawning their personal items isn’t exactly something people advertise. Heading to the local pawn shop to get a pawn loan isn’t, either. There’s this looming misconception pawn shops are sneaky, dirty, up to no good. In reality, though, pawn shops are more ethical than you think. Here’s why.

1. We’re Regulated by Local and State Laws

Because of the nature of our businesses, pawn shops are often considered part of the financial service industry. This means we have to abide by specific laws when it comes to things like:

  • managing money.
  • handling transactions.
  • obtaining and storing customer information.
  • setting our fees and rates, such as interest rates and storage fees.
  • how long we can hold items.

Furthermore, officials at the local and state levels do indeed keep an eye on us to ensure we are behaving in accordance with the law. Under the law, we’re not all that different from banks.

2. Pawn Shops Get State Inspections (With No Notice)

Generally speaking, regulators will show up on behalf of the state to inspect pawn shops at least once a year — almost always by surprise, too. This number can fluctuate state to state — some might hold inspections more or less frequently. However, knowing a surprise visit is always a possibility usually means pawnbrokers run a tight ship.

3. Stolen Goods Don’t Get a Spot on Our Shelves

Admittedly, many years ago, stolen items did end up in pawn shops more frequently. “Back in the day,” pawnbrokers didn’t have the technology and software we have today. Identifying and tracking stolen items was far more difficult, if at all possible.

This is no longer an issue for the following reasons:

  • We work very closely with law enforcement specifically to keep stolen goods out of our store.
  • All information is digitalized.
  • These days, most items have their own serial number, especially expensive electronics. This allows us to identify the rightful owner in the case of a stolen item.
  • The benefit of selling stolen goods is far, far outweighed by the consequences for doing so. It’s simply not worth it to a pawnbroker.

4. Pawn Shops Have a Method for Determining the Value of Your Item

Ah, yes. It’s one of the biggest questions people have when it comes to pawning an item or getting a pawn loan: How does the pawnbroker determine the value of my item?

Rest assured it’s a lot more complex than taking a quick look at your item and throwing a number out there. Look at jewelry, for instance. A pawnbroker will examine a number of factors, including:

  • what the jewelry is made of.
    • Is the metal durable or soft? Is it scratch-resistant or does it get easily damaged? Will it tarnish?
  • what stones it has.
    • Precious or semiprecious? One large stone or several smaller stones?

Keep in mind, too, that if pawn shops were looking to take advantage of you, they would accept everything and anything, but they don’t. Most shops will share on their website or over the phone what you can and cannot pawn.

While pawn shops are a lot more ethical than you might think, it still helps to work with one you really trust. John’s Pawn Shop has been in business since 1975 and above all else, we value honesty. Stop by and see us or call us at (702) 213-3331.

What Do Pawn Shops Buy? Here’s What You Need to Know

Customers are often surprised to learn you can’t walk into a pawn shop and pawn or get a loan for any item you’d like, even if it might be something you know could be worth a lot. It helps to know, beforehand, what a shop will and will not accept, and why. Let’s use John’s as an example.

How We Decide What Items We Can Accept

For every item we cannot accept, there’s a specific reason why. Here are some of the factors we take into consideration.

The Item’s Worth

Let’s look at silver jewelry, for instance — an item we don’t take. If we accept gold jewelry, why not silver? While it might be beautiful jewelry and even in excellent condition, there are a few reasons for this.

  • Silver is worth a fraction of what gold is.
  • This number fluctuates regularly.
  • Sterling silver is less durable, tarnishes more easily, and can tarnish.

For these reasons, silver jewelry is something we — and many other pawn shops — don’t take.

The Item’s Reliability

Let’s use printers for this example. This is another item we regularly see. Let’s think about this. How many times has your printer randomly stopped working, leaving you in a fit of anger and frustration? It’s no different for a pawnbroker. We can’t accept printers because:

  • They’re unreliable and prone to errors.
  • One small part of the machine can go on the fritz and the entire thing will stop working.
  • It’s not worth paying to repair them.

Printers simply aren’t dependable enough for most pawn shops to take.

How Complicated is the Item to Carry in the Store?

Appliances are another good example of an item people assume pawn shops will take, understandably. After all, you paid a pretty penny for that dishwasher. Some might take it. Many won’t. There are a couple reasons for this.

  • They take up a lot of space in the shop — so much, in fact, that it’s just not worth what a pawnbroker would eventually get for it, if it were to sell.
  • Shop owners can’t know with 100% certainty if an appliance works the way it should.
  • Repairing them can cost an arm and a leg.

So, What Do Pawn Shops Buy?

This is information a pawn shop will likely provide on their website. If not, you should call ahead and ask them. All shops are different! You can see the full list of items John’s will and will not take on our website, but here are just a few examples.

We will generally accept:

  • Gold jewelry
  • Diamond jewelry
  • PlayStation 4
  • Guitars

We will generally not accept:

  • Costume Jewelry
  • Smartphones
  • Tools
  • Machinery
  • Sunglasses
  • Computers

We hope this helps clear up why we’ll take some items and not others. Remember, pawn shops are not out to get you. At John’s, we pride ourselves on providing the best dollar amount for your items. Our pawn loans have the best interest rate in town, and we’ve been in business since 1975. When you walk through our doors, you’re in good hands. Contact us today! (702) 213-3331

5 Misconceptions About Pawn Shops in Las Vegas

What comes to your mind when you hear the words pawn shop? Do you picture a gloomy establishment located in the dark recesses of town, manned by a shady individual with a creepy grin that shows one or two gold teeth? Pawn shops have a bad reputation, and this is overwhelmingly due to their negative portrayal in movies and television shows. A lot of fallacies about pawn shops are going around and misleading some people into thinking they’re bad news. Let’s discern fact from fiction. Here are five common misconceptions about pawn shops in Las Vegas.

1. Pawn Shops Are Full of Stolen Goods

The fact is this: pawn shops require a special license to operate and they are all mandated to comply with a wide variety of federal, state, and local regulations. On top of that, pawn shops are obligated to cooperate with law enforcement to prevent the movement of stolen merchandise. Government-issued IDs like a driver’s license and other proof of identification are required for every transaction, and each item is scrutinized carefully before it is accepted to ensure authenticity.

Pawnbrokers are mindful of their reputation. To maintain their reliability, they make sure the items they accept are legitimate. To put it simply, stolen goods have no place in pawn shops.

2. Pawn Shops Are Out to Get You

The pawn shop’s appraisal for any collateral is based on a percentage of that item’s current market value. It is the amount the pawnbroker estimates the item would sell for. Many factors go into deciding what a product is worth, and they conduct careful research to ensure the client receives a fair price. Furthermore, there are also federal laws that work to maintain fair trade.

3. People Only Go to Pawn Shops When They’re Broke

Customers who go to pawn shops come from different financial positions. A majority of them simply need a little extra cash, and others just want to clear away some items from their home. Most of the customers prefer to go to pawn shops since they are a secure and confidential way to get cash.

It’s also more convenient than borrowing money from family and friends. Unlike banks, pawn loans do not require credit checks and no legal consequences are filed in case the loan is not repaid. Despite what some people think, 80% of the items pawned are actually reclaimed.

4. Everything for Sale at a Pawn Shop is Old or in Poor Condition

Pawnbrokers are careful about the items they accept. Each piece is professionally inspected to ensure it is authentic, in good condition, and legitimate. Despite popular belief, pawn shops are reliable places to find quality items.

Additionally, the merchandise sold at pawn shops is carefully tended to and checked to make sure it’s in excellent shape when they are put up for sale.

5. Pawn Shops Are Unregulated

There are laws implemented to regulate the operations of pawn shops. Each pawn shop is required to follow strict rules to ensure fair trade.

The pawn shop industry has been around for more than 3,000 years. It’s one of the oldest forms of consumer credit. It’s also one of the easiest and most convenient ways to acquire extra cash. A number of rules and regulations are placed to help keep the trade fair for both the customer and the business, so you can rest assured transactions are secure and reasonable.

Looking for a reputable pawn shop in Las Vegas? Contact John’s Pawn Shop at (702) 213-3335 today!