Thousands pawn valuables to cover back-to-school costs in Phuket

PHUKET: The Phuket City Municipality Pawn Shop has kept 80 million baht in stock in anticipation of the start of the school term, during which time thousands of people come in to pledge their belongings in return for cash to meet everyday expenses.

The municipality has also reduced the interest on loans to help the public.

“We will propose keeping another 50 million baht as spare cash to the board, in case there is more demand for loans. The economy is not doing well, so people need money, especially to cover back-to-school costs for their children,” said Phuket City Mayor Somjai Suwansupana.

From April 1 to May 31, loans of less than 5,000 baht be will be charged 0.25 per cent interest per month, and loans above that amount will be charged 0.75 per cent a month. This rate is lower than that charged by private pawn shops.

“Borrowers can pay the debt in installments. To help them further, we have not set a limit for the installment payments,” said Mayor Somjai.

In previous years, the most popular items pledged by people were gold, diamonds, gemstones, silver, watches, TVs, cameras and refrigerators, among others.

“From January to March this year, a total of 12,874 people utilized the municipality pawn shop’s services, pledging items worth more than 242 million baht in total,” said Ms Somjai.

— Kritsada Mueanhawong

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