Too little to borrow

Kamaaina Loan blog has linked to many newspaper or television stories about the new status of pawning. Here is an unusually detailed report in the Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Business reporter Ellis Smith did something we haven’t seen before. Although we have often noted that banks won’t lend you a hundred bucks — something our Maui pawn shop will be happy to do — Smith made the effort to ask his local bankers just how small a loan they would consider:

First Tennessee, the largest bank by deposits in Chattanooga, doesn’t lend less than $2,500, “and we don’t make money until we get way over that,” said Keith Sanford, market president for the bank. “Even at that level, we try to steer them toward a credit card.”

SunTrust has an option on its website for unsecured loans, but it also requires a credit check, and the minimum loan amount is $3,000.

Of course, Kamaaina Loan doesn’t make unsecured loans either. We need something to pawn — gold ring, power tool, guitar. Something.

But we don’t care what your credit rating is, or even if you have a credit rating.

Guns in a Chattanooga pawn shop

Guns in a Chattanooga pawn shop


Other differences between our Maui pawn shop and the pawnbrokers in Tennessee: By law, in Hawaii we cannot lend on autos.  Pawnshops can lend on titles in Tennessee. We don’t do firearms. As far as we know, only one pawnshop in Hawaii has the federal firearms license required to do  pawn loan.

It’s on Oahu and is primarily a gun shop that makes loans as an additional business service.