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Las Vegas pawn shop offering zero interest loans to workers affected by government shutdown

Posted at 11:43 PM, Jan 02, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-03 03:05:08-05

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Cash-strapped people come into Max Pawn in Las Vegas for all kinds of reasons.

But right now the shop, located at 6040 W. Sahara Avenue, is reaching out to the thousands of Nevadans affected by the government shutdown.

Michael Mack owns Max Pawn.

“It's really unfortunate that it's that many hardworking individuals who work for our government that possibly have been affected by this government shutdown, “said Mack. “And during the holidays especially."

Just for them; the business is offering interest-free loans for 30 days. Before Christmas, Mack said a few federal workers on furlough needed help buying presents and groceries.

“Then we had two different individuals who wanted to go out for New Year’s Eve who thought that wasn't a possibility. They didn't get that paycheck,” Mack said. “They got a loan and gave them the opportunity. You have to bring an item still of value get a pawn, but we charge no interest as long as you pay it back within 30 days."

And that's the key to using a loan to solve a short-term cash flow problem; making sure you pay it back within that 30-day window, that's according to 13 Action News Financial Analyst Steve Budin.

"Everybody runs into unforeseen emergencies. So, if you do this once it really wouldn't be the end of the world,” Budin said. “I link an interest-free loan to a low-interest credit card. When you open up the account, it's great. But if you don't pay it off at that time once you start paying interest, it's very high.”

Budin said borrowing from family or friends could also be an option if you can't repay a loan quickly. He said some employees might be eligible to borrow against their retirement accounts, avoiding fees if they repay the money within a specific time frame.