TYLER, Texas (KETK) — East Texans are looking for extra cash amid 40-year record-high inflation, and they are rushing to pawn shops to help pay the bills. 

Scott Benson owns a shop in Athens and Malakoff. He said there has been a dramatic uptick in the number of people coming in to get short-term loans. They tell him they are just trying to pay the bills until their next paycheck comes in.

While Benson appreciates the business, he said he is concerned about the growing number of loan seekers.

“Right now with high inflation and people having less discretionary funds, we’re afraid that it’s gonna be hard for people to pay their loans back,” said Benson. “Across the board, all pawn brokers are talking about how their loan balances are, are growing faster than they would like.”

Tune into KETK News at 10 on Thursday, July 14 to hear more from Benson on the recent pawn shop boom, and hear tips from a financial expert on things to consider before seeking small loans.