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Loan Alternatives for Cash-Strapped College Students

How many times have you heard an older relative say, “Enjoy it while you’re young!” But as a college student, that’s hard to do when you don’t have any money.
The typical weekly paycheck of $125 only goes so far after paying for food, gas, books, and leisure activities. A recent Reuters article detailed how more college students and recent graduates are turning to pawnshops to help during their cash crunch.
A study from PwC and George Washington University found that 28 percent of college-educated millennials are borrowing from pawn shops, like Provident Loan Society of New York.

Provident Loan Society allows college students to obtain a low interest collateral loan that doesn’t have to be paid back for a full 6 months. The process is as simple as exchanging gold and diamond jewelry for fast cash.

Pawnshops for Short-term Loans

Provident Loan Society is a not-for-profit organization that is typically half the cost of a commercial pawnshop. Their annual interest rate is 26 percent, compared to commercial pawnshops, which have an annual rate of 48 percent.
The nonprofit makes loans from $1 to $100,000 with no credit checks and lower fees.
And you don’t need to be a math major to calculate the fees and interest rates for the loan. Provident Loan Society has a helpful tool, the Fast Cash Calculator,  which allows college students to estimate their interest and fees.
Provident Loan Society is registered with the National Pawnbrokers Association, making it a credible shop that is regulated under state and federal levels. They have provided loans to New Yorkers for more than 120 years.
A recent study done by the Global Financial Literacy Excellence Center at George Washington University highlights just how much college students are struggling with their personal finance. The study found this cash shortage is impacting student grades, performance in the classroom and their overall life stress.
One solution for college students struggling with finances is to plan out weekly budgets. There are many applications to help with money management, like My Weekly Budget. It allows students to create their own spending categories, set target budgets, and compare your spending to your budget. This is a helpful alternative to saving cash without the help of loans.

About the Author
Christina Iemma is a New York native studying Communication Arts at St. John’s University. 

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