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Phuket pawnshop bolstered with B130mn as students head back to school

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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PHUKET: The state-run Phuket City Municipality pawnshop has been granted a budget of 130 million baht to exchange for goods as poor parents scratch to find the funds to send their children back to school.

The budget last year was just 50mn baht, explained Suriya Ngasamun, an assistant at the Phuket City Municipality Pawnshop on Komarapat Road in Phuket Town.

“The pawnshop made 60mn baht on back-to-school loans last year,” Mr Suriya said.

“Despite the much larger budget this year, we expect to make only about 20 per cent more profit [than last year].”

To assist parents during the back-to-school rush, with government schools set to re-open on May 6, the city pawnshop is offering, until September 15, discounted interest rates for items pawned.

“We are offering rates of 0.5 per cent interest per month on loans of less than 5,000 baht; 1 per cent on loans between 5,000 and 30,000 baht, and 1.25 per cent on loans between 30,000 and 100,000 baht,” Mr Suriya said.

The pawnshop does not offer loans of more than 100,000 baht, he noted.

The same discounted interest rates are being offered at the two other government pawnshops on the island: near the Patong Municipality Office on Ratpatanusorn Road in Patong; and in Pasak Soi 4, off the Baan Don Chom Road in Cherng Talay.

“We all use the same rates,” Mr Suriya said.

He urged parents to use the state-run pawnshops instead of turning to private money lenders.

“Gold was the principal item pawned during the back-to-school rush,” Mr Suriya explained.

“Private gold shops also offer regulated pawn services, but their rates are different. It depends on each shop.”

People without gold often resort to pawning household electronic goods or any other valuable items they have, he added.

“To pawn any items at a government pawnshop, Thais must present their original ID card or driver’s license. Foreigners must present their passport and provide a signed copy,” Mr Suriya said.

“And the person pawning the item must be at least 15 years old.”

— Woranut Pechdee

 

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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