Pawn shops are businesses where people bring their possessions to sell or to get a short-term loan. The United States has about ten thousand of them. In the
past few years, pawn shops have been doing business with more people than
ever before. That is because many lenders now do business only with individuals having good credit ratings or a high-paying job. Often, the individuals most in
need of a loan have poor credit ratings. But they do not need a good job or
credit rating to get a loan from a pawnbroker. They only need something of value.
When a traditional lender approves a loan, it may be days or weeks before an individual receives the money. But pawnbrokers will give a loan in just a few
minutes based on the resale value of an object and without asking about the
person’s job or credit history.
Many pawn shops specialize in jewelry. But most shops accept almost anything of value, including computers, musical instruments, guns, old coins and other antiques. The item itself acts as the security, or collateral, for the loan. If the loan is not repaid, the object can be sold. Customers can get the object
back -- called redeeming it -- at any time by repaying the loan plus the interest
and fees they agreed to pay. Or they can pay the interest and leave the item at
the pawn shop for a while longer.
【題組】46. According to the article, how many pawn shops are there in the United States now?