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Offbeat ways to finance a small business

Online pawnshops offer loans
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Online pawnshops offer loans

If you need money fast to cover payroll or repair a truck, you might consider an asset-based loan such as those offered by pawnshops.

An online pawnshop works by securing a business owner's high-end personal assets, such as jewelry or wine collections, gold coins and bars, or expensive watches, as collateral. The items are mailed overnight to the pawnshop company (make sure the online pawnshop is insured by a reputable company such as Lloyd's of London). Based on an appraisal, the online pawnshop sends the money within 24 hours. The average business loan for Pawngo ranges from $5,000 to $50,000, says Todd Hills, co-founder and CEO of Pawngo, an online pawnshop.

"Many small businesses are getting into cash-flow difficulties ... they are getting hammered from both sides. Business is tight, and credit is tight," Hills says. "Usually they would solve these problems through line of credit or a bank loan, but they just don't have the access to these funds anymore."

Loan interest rates are higher than they are for a typical bank loan. And the average online pawnshop loan is for four to six months; just enough time for some businesses to get back on their feet.


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