ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Inflation in the United States has hit a new 40-year high, putting even more pressure on households trying to afford the cost of basic necessities.
People save a lot to make ends meet, and now more Coloradans are turning to pawnshops for extra cash.
At Pawn King in Englewood, doors open at 9:30 a.m. every weekday, and usually customers are already waiting to enter.
“In the morning, we usually have a line outside our door,” said Angelo Arguello, owner of Pawn King.
Arguello says his business has always had its ups and downs with the economy. Before COVID, Arguello says he was doing well.
It was during the pandemic that he saw an unusual boost.
Colorado pawnshops see surge in people seeking loans
“They were coming, but they were coming for stuff to do around the house. Bikes, I couldn’t hold a bike for anything. Laptops or cell phones, game systems, things like that. Stuff to do at home,” says Arguello.
However, in February this year, Arguello noticed another change in why his customers now come.
“It’s a lot more about getting gas for the week, kind of a loan as needed. A quick $30, $40 to fill up,” Arguello said. “People just need money to get their daily commute. You know, pay small bills, get gas, put groceries on the table for a few days before they get paid.”
Now, Arguello says he sees customers bringing in items they no longer consider necessities.
“Now they’ve ditched those bikes, laptops, gaming systems and the fun stuff,” Arguello said. “Things that you can kind of do without, for about a week, two weeks.”
Some weeks Arguello says he gives out thousands of dollars in loans, and others much less, but Arguello says it’s not about the money for him. It’s about helping your community.
“I base a lot of my business on the community, you know what I mean? And if I can help everybody, I try to do that,” he said.
Help customers get money for a tank of gas or a carton of eggs.