Parents turn to pawn shops as school term starts

CityNews – 5th November 2019, – A state-run pawn shop on Inthawarorot Road has recently seen a continuous line of people bringing their belongings to pledge, e.g. necklaces, rings, gold, etc.

On the most part, these are all parents looking to raise money to pay for their children’s school fees, stationary and other school items.  Most of the belongings being pledged are gold ornaments followed by electrical appliances.

U-thai Wongchak, manager of the state-run pawn shop, revealed near the start of every new semester, there are usually more people coming to use its service.  For the principle capital of less than 5,000 baht the interest rate is 0.5% per month, and for those around 5,000 to 100,000 baht, the interest is 1% per month (the rate lasts till December this year).  The pledging period lasts 4 months with an extension of up to 30 days.  Some customers pledged their belongings for a period of 1 – 3 months.  Currently, the shop has reserves of around 51 – 60 million baht and is certain that it can support people’s needs.

One customer revealed that her golden necklace was pledged here because the interest rate is lower than at other pawn shops. Her daughter is now in Mathayom 5 and there is a need to pay for a semester’s fee including relevant studying items.  Together with the fact that her expenses exceed her income, she said that she would like the government to help reduce school fees as there are other expenses such as transportation, meals, etc. which are causing many parents great financial stress.