November 13th, 2012

Review: Borro Lends You Cash for Your Valuables

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Review: Borro Lends You Cash for Your Valuables

Picture this: You’re starting a new business, say a hat shop. You need a small business loan to get the Hat Shack up and running, but each bank you visit has tightened its purse strings. Loans are difficult to come by, and they have high credit score requirements. Where do you go so you can get your shop ready to go before hat season?

Enter Borro, an online pawnbroker that extends secured personal loans backed by valuable assets.

How it Works

Originally launched in the UK, Borro has had a New York City headquarters since January 2012. Its personal asset loans use your high-end valuables as collateral. Basically, if you have a need for a loan and a valuable asset, you could qualify for a Borro loan. Here’s how it works:

  • Fill out the online application, in which you describe your valuables and their market value.
  • A Borro expert will assess your valuables and appraise them as well as give you a loan quote. This happens either at a valuation center (in Midtown Manhattan, New York), during a home visit arranged by Borro or via secure courier service. Borro insures all asset deliveries and storage.
  • You’ll have the opportunity to accept the loan contract; there’s no credit check required.
  • Your loan will be financed the same day. In other words, you’ll get your Hat Shack money fast.
  • You’ll pay back your loan and the interest accrued at the end of the six-month term. And if you do so early, there’s no penalty.
  • Your valuables will be sent back to you, safe and sound.

Borro accepts a variety of assets to secure loans, including luxury watches, jewelry and diamonds, gold, fine art and antiques, luxury cars and fine wine. Typically, borrowers receive 50 to 70 percent of their valuable’s resale value, which averages out to $17,000 per loan. That’s contrasted with the typical pawn shop loan of $150.

Compared with payday loans, another option for the credit-less, Borro loans are much less expensive. Their monthly interest rates fall between 2.49 and 3.99 percent.

(See 3 Risky Loans and How to Avoid Them.)

What’s the Catch?

Borro isn’t for everyone. For some, shopping for a traditional loan is the better option. These personal asset loans are for those people who need cash fast, say for a business opportunity, but don’t want to sell their valuables in order to get it.

Taking a loan with Borro has some distinct disadvantages:

  • It won’t help you build credit like a traditional personal loan.
  • If you can’t repay your loan, you’ll lose your valuables. In fact, Borro will sell them, usually at an auction.
  • Unless you live in New Jersey, New York or Connecticut, getting a Borro loan could be impractical, since they offer in-home appraisal or a visit to their valuation center in NYC. Borro is hoping to expand to other metropolitan areas on the U.S. to fix this problem.
  • Since the average interest rate of 2.49 to 3.99 percent is monthly, Borro loans are more expensive than you may think at first glance, though not as expensive as payday loans.

Borro Logo

Bottom Line: Borro is trying to fill in a gap in the lending space—somewhere between a payday loan and a personal loan. But their loans aren’t a good fit for everyone. If you’re in the market for a personal or small business loan, make sure you check out all of your options using Credit Karma’s savings analysis.

Disclaimer: All information posted to this site was accurate at the time of its initial publication. Efforts have been made to keep the content up to date and accurate. However, Credit Karma does not make any guarantees about the accuracy or completeness of the information provided. For complete details of any products mentioned, visit bank or issuer website.


  1. Indeed, like jewelry is everyone can wear, sports also everybody can participate. Exciting!!!Let me share a surprise that can take you a good mood, and jewelry financing no credit check .

    IceboxJewelry at 7:02 pm on December 4, 2012
  2. I have been checking out many of your articles and i can

    state pretty clever stuff. I will make sure to bookmark your blog.

    dni comisarias barcelona at 12:24 am on April 19, 2013
  3. I’m still learning from you, as I’m making my way to the top as well.
    I definitely enjoy reading all

    that is posted on your blog.Keep the aarticles coming.
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    buying property in saudi arabia by foreigner at 8:27 pm on April 20, 2013
  4. Borro is a TOTAL RIP OFF, long story short i went there with $120,000.00 worth of fine jewelry looking for a 40k minimum loan for three months and they told me they can only give me a $5,000.00 loan…thiefs! They are grabbing over 100k in diamonds and gold and can only lend me $5k i wonder if is a scam to get jewelry in and switch diamonds for lower grade ..what a waste of time it was….will not recommend…

    Mariza at 4:19 pm on April 12, 2014

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