Pawn shops business booming during bust economy

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More turning to pawn shops for extra cash

PHOENIX - Lots of people are working hard to make ends meet these days.

More and more people are turning to pawn shops for some extra cash by trying to sell family heirlooms, prized possessions and luxury items as people search for ways to stay afloat.

Welcome to Vegas Pawn, one of the few places where business is booming in this bust economy. It seems just as the real estate market has slowed it has picked up for pawn shops where remnants of better times are exchanged for cold hard cash.

Isaac Torres, from Vegas Pawn, says the loan business is up 50% over the past year and about 75% of those people come back to get their stuff.

It is the reason why Lisa Anton says she turned to Vegas Pawn. She tells 3TV she got a $300 loan at 22% interest. The deal is you must pay up in 90 days or forfeit your collateral.

Unfortunately Lisa was late by one day. She is lucky the pawn shop has not sold or melted down her wedding ring. It is still available but to get it back she has to pay their asking price, which is far more than she intended.

Lucky for her she can put her ring on layaway and despite it all, she admits she would use a pawn shop again.

While pawn shop loans are up, so are pawn shop sales. Vegas Pawn tells 3TV that people just are not spending the same way they used to and instead are browsing pawn shops aisles looking for bargains.