On average, Americans rack up around $1,054 in debt from Christmas shopping. Some people have much more than this amount, though.
As you start reviewing your credit card statements from your Christmas shopping, you’ll see how much you owe. If you owe a lot of money, you might wonder how you can pay it off.
Some people turn to pawn shops to pay off their debt, but there are alternatives to pawn shops available to you.
Here are some of the top alternatives to pawn shops that you can analyze as you look for a way to pay off your holiday debt.
Understand Pawn Shop Loans
If you’re considering a pawn shop loan, you might want to learn more about how pawn shop loans work before pursuing one. You might also want to learn more about the pawn shop loan interest rates.
When you get a pawn loan, you give the shop some collateral, and they give you some cash for it. You might have 30 days or longer to repay the amount in full, and you must repay it to get your collateral back.
If you can’t repay the loan by the due date, you can ask for an extension. The extension won’t be free, though. The shop will charge an extra fee for this service.
Pawn shops tend to charge high-interest rates for their loans and expensive fees. As a result, people tend to look for alternatives to pawn loans when they need some extra cash to consolidate their debts.
You can also acquire money from pawn shops by selling items. The downside is that you might not receive anywhere close to the amount the item is worth. They’ll only give you a fraction of the item’s value.
Consider the Amount You Owe
Before choosing any loan type, it might be wise to consider how much you owe. You can add up your credit card statements to determine the amount. If you owe a lot, a pawn shop loan might not even work well for you.
Pawn loans have limits, and you might not even be able to borrow enough.
Additionally, you might want to look for ways next year to get through the holidays without getting into debt.
If you plan properly for your holiday spending, you might be able to save enough money throughout the year to cover the costs. Another option is to create a budget for your holiday spending.
When you create a budget and plan well for your holiday costs, you can prevent falling into debt. As a result, next year, you might not need a way to consolidate your holiday debt.
Look Into a Balance Transfer
One alternative to a pawn loan you might want to consider is a balance transfer. A balance transfer is something you can do that allows you to transfer the balance from one credit card to another.
To use a balance transfer, you’ll need a few things. One thing you’ll need is a credit card with an available amount of credit.
For example, if you owe $1,000 in holiday debt that you want to consolidate, you’ll need a credit card with at least $1,000 available credit.
Next, you’ll need a credit card that offers a low-interest rate. Transferring a balance from one card to another doesn’t make a lot of sense if you’ll pay the same interest rate. Additionally, some credit cards charge transfer fees. Make sure it isn’t more expensive to transfer than to leave it where it is.
Some credit cards offer low introductory rates on balance transfers, so you might want to consider opening a new card. If you don’t have the best credit, you might not qualify for this option, though.
If you don’t have any credit cards and can’t qualify for one, this alternative won’t work for you.
Borrow Money From a Relative
Another alternative you might want to consider is borrowing money from a relative or friend. Do you have someone in your life who has some extra money they’d be willing to lend to you?
If so, they might not charge any interest when lending you the money. If this is the case, you could potentially save a lot of money.
This alternative has a few downsides to consider, though.
First, you might not have a friend or relative who’s able to give you a loan. Secondly, borrowing money from a relative can jeopardize the relationship if you can’t repay the money fast enough or as agreed.
Take a Personal Loan
One of the best alternatives to pawn loans is a personal loan. Personal loans may or may not require collateral. In most cases, they don’t.
A personal loan falls into the category of installment loans. You borrow a set amount of money from the lender, and they give you this amount as a lump sum of cash. They might even deposit the amount into your bank account.
You sign an agreement to repay the money in installment payments. You might have 6 to12 months to repay it. The lender adds in the interest charges for the loan, and you pay equal payments until you pay it off.
One of the benefits of personal loans is that they’re not hard to get. Most lenders have few eligibility requirements for them. You’ll have to be 18 years old and have a job, and in many cases a credit check.
You’ll save money on interest charges with a personal loan, and you’ll get to spread out the repayment plan over time.
Learn the Alternatives to Pawn Loans Before Deciding
As you learn more about the alternatives to pawn, you can determine which option is the best for your holiday debt. Consolidating this debt might help you repay it faster and save money, so you should choose an option.
If you are interested in applying for a personal loan, contact us. We offer personal loans to people who are at least 18 years old and have verifiable income. Call us to learn more or apply now online.