Frequently Asked Questions

WHO ARE PAWN SHOP CUSTOMERS?

A. People with financial needs in modern society are turning to pawnbrokers as a helpful alternative to other institutions. Average people in America who sometimes have an unexpected, urgent financial need can go to pawn shops for short-term, non-recourse, low interest funds. Cash loans or collateral loans offered by pawn shops help working families come up with money for unexpected bills or everyday expenses such as rent, gas and electric bills, school supplies and repairs.

SHORT TERM FINANCIAL ALTERNATIVES

A. Credit Fee Types:
$75 pawn loan fee for 30 days = $15
Credit Card Fee = $29
Credit Card over-the-limit fee = $35
Bank NSF fee = $36
Mortgage Company, average late fee = $53
Utility Bill late fee = $25
Utility Bill reconnect fee = $58

DO PAWN SHOPS HAVE EXCESSIVE INTEREST RATES?

A. No. Lenders charge rates that are proportionate to the amount and length of the loan, collateral, risk and recourse. Pawn transactions are often small, short-term, loans with none of the hidden charges levied by other financial institutions. Windy City Jewelry & Loan keeps rates reasonable while adhering to the State of Illinois’ regulations.

IS IT COMMON FOR PAWN CUSTOMERS TO LOSE THEIR MERCHANDISE?

A. On average, about 97 percent of all pawn loans are redeemed or picked up. The remaining 3 percent of pawn loans are unpaid. Our business is based on repeat customers, much like other lending establishments or retail stores. Pawnbrokers have strong relationships with their customers because they often repeatedly borrow against the same items. Pawnbrokers offer low interest, non-recourse collateral loan. If the borrower does not repay their loan, we only look to the pledged item to recover the unpaid investment.

HOW DOES PAWNING WORK?

A. A pawn is just another way of saying a collateral loan. Pawnbrokers lend customers money on valuable items. These items commonly include gold and diamond jewelry, tools, household items, electronics, musical instruments, televisions, and more. Depending on the pawn shop, some items may be favored over others. Windy City Jewelry & Loan will pawn a variety of items to help the most people possible.

The amount of the loan is based on the collateral’s value. When you repay your loan, you get your merchandise back. Windy City Jewelry & Loan understands that sometimes things happen, so we also offer renewals or extensions. We want to give you the time you need to reclaim your valued items.

WHAT IF I LOSE MY TICKET? AM I OUT OF LUCK?

A. Not at all. As long as you have your ID, you’ll be able to pay on or pick up your merchandise.

WHAT IF I’M LATE ON A PAYMENT OR MISS A PAYMENT?

A. If you’re having trouble with your payments, just let us know by calling or stopping in. We are always willing to work out any payment issues.

WHAT IS THE INTEREST RATE?

A. Our interest rates are reasonable and depend on the loan amount, and length of the loan.

WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PAWNING AND SELLING?

A. When you pawn your item, it still belongs to you. We just hold it as collateral until you repay your cash loan. When you pay back your loan, you get your item back. When you sell your item, it becomes the property of Windy City Jewelry and Loan.

HOW BIG OF A LOAN CAN I EXPECT ON MY ITEM?

A. The amount of your loan depends on the value of your item. Our trained certified staff appraises each item according to current market values, condition, salability and demand. We want to get you the amount you need, but amounts do vary based on the item.

DO PAWN SHOPS SELL STOLEN MERCHANDISE?

A. While selling stolen merchandise is a common assumption about pawn shops, less than half 1/1000th  of 1% of ALL pawn shop merchandise is stolen. Windy City Jewelry & Loan takes extreme care to ensure that our inventory is legitimate. Pawnbrokers have strong relationships with local and federal law enforcement to help identify and return any stolen property. We have numerous ways to ensure the merchandise we sell is legitimate.

When we buy goods from an individual, we require a valid ID issued by the government. Our employees scan the ID so we have a digital copy to send to local law enforcement daily. We also update leadsonline.com, which is a nationwide database for pawn transactions that is shared with law enforcement.

That said, Windy City Jewelry & Loan can only share information about our transactions and stolen items with law enforcement. If you have any questions or concerns about stolen merchandise, please contact local law enforcement. While we readily assist law enforcement, we also must respect our customers’ privacy.