Nationwide, about one American in 5 uses a pawn lender to raise cash, according to the private financial regulator FINRA.
But for some reason, in Arizona it’s 1 in 4.
Old West Indian trading posts were, among much else, pawn lenders. But there couldn’t be enough trading post business to account for the difference.
Our Maui pawn shop has active accounts for around 1 in 10 Maui residents. The FINRA survey asked whether respondents had used a pawn loan in the past 5 years.
There are other pawn shops on Maui besides Kamaaina Loan, and we have some turnover in customers over 5 years, so Maui people might be close to Arizonans in using pawn.
Nationwide, there’s more pawning in the South. But that’s because most Southern states raised the ceiling on interest, not because Southerners are specially attuned to pawning.