With the new semester of most Thai schools starting on Tuesday, pawnshops across the country have prepared extra money to cater to the increased need of customers seeking cash in exchange for valuables to pay their children’s tuition fees and other related expenses.
In the southern province of Narathiwat, Budsaba Thiprien, director of the Government Pawnshop Office’s Phupha Phakdee branch, said the pawnshop in the Muang Narathiwat Municipality area had already seen an increase of 300-400 customers compared to the usual daily number.
Her office had prepared Bt70 million cash to cater to parents looking to pawn their valuables – most of which were gold ornaments, electrical appliances and farming tools.
To aid parents seeking money for educational expenses, the pawnshop will charge an interest of 0.25 per cent per month for the pawn loans less than Bt5,000 and at 1 per cent per month for pawn loans exceeding Bt5,000 but not exceeding Bt20,000.
Up North, the Government Pawnshop Office’s Nakhon Chiang Mai Municipality branch has reportedly prepared Bt360 million to fund its four pawnshops and would charge a special interest rate of 0.25-0.75 per cent per month for a pawn loan worth up to Bt5,000 and more until May 31, city mayor Thassanai Buranupakorn.
Ninety per cent of the pawned items there were gold ornaments or jewellery, which would fetch about 80 per cent of the item’s market price but not more than Bt100,000 per piece, he said. However, only one per cent of such pawned items were not reclaimed by owners, he said, adding the unclaimed items were sold at a joint auction held once in the second week of every month and they generally fetched Bt500,000-Bt600,000 for the four pawnshops per month.
This year the northern city’s four pawn shops expected a 20-30 per cent increase in the number of customers due to the economic slowdown.