‘Quick cash:’ Kennewick pawn shop sees a 15% increase in loans as inflation rates remain high

KENNEWICK, Wash. — As the country continues to see record-high inflation rates, some Tri-Citians are searching for ways to quickly make more cash.

At Ed and Moe’s Pawn Shop and Guitar Bar in Kennewick, owner Russell Delgesso said he’s seen a 15% increase in loans compared to the previous year.

“It’s difficult to attribute the impacts that we’ve seen directly to inflation, but we do have some increase in loan values and amounts of money loaned out,” Delgesso said.

Delgesso noted that pawn shops can be quick cash, short-term solutions for those in need.

“When you start to see a lot of cash come in, people are cash heavy, and that’s good for people, [but] it’s poor for our business,” Delgesso said. “Now that business is switching to loans going out, from a business perspective, that’s better for us. But that’s also a sign of a poor economy.”

According to recent data from the U.S. Department of Labor, the annual inflation rate is 8.5% after previously rising to 9.1% — the most since 1981.

While Delgesso can’t directly say whether or not the increase is coming directly from inflation, he said he’s seeing people pawning higher-value items for a higher return.

“Pawn shops, in general, do as much as they can to provide financial assistance for people who are getting loans on things that aren’t typically taken by banks,” Delgesso said.

If you want to pawn an item, Delgesso said you need to bring a current and valid driver’s license.

Currently, the shop sees about an 85% return rate on merchandise after people complete their loans.

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