I have a personal passion about pawnbroking, payday loans and what I call the 3rd credit market.
I actually love it. I find it fascinating.
There is such a high demand from the customers and lender is there to help. The balance of power is quite awkward given all of the personal circumstances that would be involved in every loan.
History is interesting of Payday Loans
Wars were funded by Payday Loans, even Christopher Columbus was funded by hocking the crown jewels!. I read this article and it opened my mind.
The novelist Charles Dickens had no high opinion of them.
”Of the numerous receptacles for misery and distress with which the streets of London unhappily abound, there are, perhaps, none which present such striking scenes as the pawnbrokers’ shops,” he wrote in the London Evening Standard in 1835.
”The very nature and description of these places occasions their being but little known, except to the unfortunate beings whose profligacy or misfortune drives them to seek the temporary relief they offer.”
Lending on portable collateral is one of the world’s oldest professions. Pawnbrokers were plying their trade in ancient Greece, Rome and China, centuries before Dickens was a boy. Traditionally symbolised by three golden balls suspended from a bar, they were the only avenue of credit open to the Victorian poor.
They’re thought to be the subject of Pop Goes the Weasel, a popular song of the 1850s. ”Popping” is slang for pawning and ”weasels” were flat irons used by poor tailors.
Pawnbrokers have also been a source of funds for the highest in the land. The British king Edward III pawned his jewels to fund his war against France in 1338. Henry V followed suit in 1415, while Isabella of Spain hocked her crown jewels to cover Columbus’ voyages.
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