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How to avoid Scottish Pawnbrokers and selling off your prized possessions

Sharon McDougall - Updated - 1st May 2024 - 3 minutes to read

Using the services of a pawnbroker may be tempting if you need cash urgently and cannot obtain credit, don’t have a bank account, or are facing serious debt. But it may not be the best way to deal with the situation.

As experienced and reliable insolvency practitioners, we can help you avoid using pawnbrokers and cash generator firms, retain your prized possessions, and advise on other methods of dealing with debt or securing the cash you need.

Our licensed insolvency practitioners have extensive knowledge of debt relief in Scotland, and have been helping Scottish residents to escape debt since 1989. But before we examine these alternatives, which are the main pawnbrokers and cash generator firms in Scotland, and how do pawnbrokers work?

How do pawn shops work?

Pawn shops offer short-term loans using gold, silver, platinum and diamond jewellery and watches as collateral. Some also accept musical instruments, antiques, electronic items and other goods of value.

Your item is valued at the pawnbrokers, and after you agree a loan value, you take receipt of the cash straight away. No guarantor is needed, and there are no credit-checks. Your item is insured by the pawnbroker, and stored securely inside their premises.

How long you have to pay back a pawn shop loan varies, with some firms offering terms of up to seven months. Because interest rates are high and interest on the loan accrues daily, it’s a good idea to pay back the money as soon as possible. Pawnbroker interest rates vary, and a monthly rate can range between 3% and 10% depending on the value of the loan.

The biggest pawnbrokers and cash converters in Scotland include Robert Biggar, Duncanson and Edwards, The Money Shop, Tron Pawn, H&T Pawnbrokers, and Ramsdens. These firms are based throughout Scotland, with Glasgow and Edinburgh being major centres.

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What are the alternatives to pawning your possessions?

There are a range of viable alternatives to improve your cash flow, or deal with debt. We can review your finances, negotiate informally with creditors on your behalf, and advise on suitable options to improve your financial position for the long-term.

Our involvement helps to reassure creditors that you’re taking positive steps to address your situation, and often results in a favourable outcome that reduces the strain on your day-to-day finances.

Debt Arrangement Scheme (DAS)

One such option is the Debt Arrangement Scheme, which is backed by the Scottish government. This arrangement allows you to repay your debts in full via a Debt Payment Plan, but at an affordable rate based on your residual income. Interest and charges on the debt are frozen, and your creditors are prevented from taking any legal action against you to recover their money.

Other debt relief solutions include Trust Deeds and sequestration – the Scottish term for bankruptcy. These can offer escape from serious debt, with sequestration being a last resort for many, but one which represents a new financial start once the bankruptcy term has ended.

Scotland Debt Solutions can help you tackle your debt situation without having to pawn your valuables. Our experts will assess your financial position and let you know the best options available, whether it’s negotiating with creditors unofficially on your behalf, or choosing a formal debt relief procedure. With five offices around Scotland, we can arrange a free same-day meeting in complete confidence at a location near you.

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Sharon McDougall


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Sequestration is the Scottish version of bankruptcy and may be suitable for you if you do not have the money to pay back your debts

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