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Pawning things – what do I need to know?

How does a pawn operate?

A pawn is where a pawnbroker or second hand dealer will give you a loan against something of value which you own.

The pawnbroker or Second Hand Dealer will assess how much they believe your things are worth before deciding how much money they are willing to give you.

What type of things can I pawn?

You can pawn anything of value which you own that a pawnbroker is willing to accept for the pawn contract.

You cannot pawn something that you do not own or that you are renting or leasing from somebody. If you have pawned something that you do not own, you should seek legal advice immediately.

How do I get the goods back?

You get your things back by paying the amount required to retrieve the goods that you have pawned. This amount is set out in your contract.

Does a pawnbroker or second hand dealer have to assess my ability to repay the money they give me?

No they don’t. They are lending the money by effectively taking security against the things that you have pawned with them.

What happens if I don’t pay?

If you don’t make the payments under the pawn or the payments required to retrieve the things that the company has under the contract, then under the contract the company is entitled to sell the goods to recover their money.

Will my credit report be affected if I don’t make payments?

Your credit report is not affected.

If I pawn things am I entitled to financial hardship like I am with other lenders?

Under the law you are not entitled to financial hardship under a pawn broking contract because pawn brokers and second-hand dealers do not come under the National Consumer Credit Law except if the contract was unjust.

However, that does not prevent you from asking them for assistance if you are in financial trouble.

Where can I get help if I have a problem with one of these contracts?

You can get help by calling:

· a financial counsellor on 1800 007 007

· Legal Aid Queensland on 1300 65 11 88

· The Office of Fair Trading

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