ULAT. “We make loans of € 8 for a sandwich”

The jewelry that Bonard M had planned to deposit still hung around his neck: his gold necklace and a pendant from his wife. “This is to pay my rent and help us survive”, said the father of seven children. After helping him remove them, the pawnbroker weighs his jewelry in small sizes behind his secure counter.

At € 24 per gram, Bonard recovered € 350 cash five minutes later. “It is faster than a bank loan and cheaper. I have six months to pay € 370.72 (with interest) ”explanation of the worker, who has several times come to the Municipal Credit.

“Colleagues told me about it”, added Rennais. In the coming months, she plans to tighten her belt even more to collect the sum that will allow her to take her jewelry to the agency safe.

“Between 80 and 120 loans are made each week”, explains Julien Roger-Provost, director of the Crédit municipal de Rennes branch, which opened three years ago. The State has a monopoly commitment to France.

More and more entrepreneurs

In Paris, the institution was known as Mont-de-Piété or “Chez ma Tante” (the Prince of Joinville, son of Louis-Philippe Ieh, justified his mother leaving his watch with his aunt). In the West, Crédit municipal branches are organized in cash as in Nantes, where the Rennes, Angers and Tours branches are based. In Normandy, pawnbroking agencies are present in Caen, Rouen and Le Havre.

In one year, Julien Roger-Provost saw a 17% increase in attendance for his recent agency in Rennes, located in the Saint-Hélier district. “We have all kinds of clients, from homeless people to doctors and lawyers”. In recent months, the manager has noticed the arrival of a new client, “entrepreneurs with large profits but also large costs”.

Pawnbroking makes it possible to get money quickly in exchange for valuables: jewelry, watches, bags, paintings, etc. The amount lent is usually between 50 and 70% of its value. “ We work with auctioneers for estimates, “ said Julien Roger-Provost. In Rennes, customers will deposit more than elsewhere “leather goods”.

Money, fast

A car breakdown, a boiler broken, an unexpected EDF bill … Often, it is an unexpected event that drives applicants to cross the door of Crédit municipal. They need money, and fast. Usually in cash but transfers are more demanding. “It is not an easy process. Some are shy but I tell them it is not necessary. When they go to get a consumer loan with a bank, they are not ashamed. While they are borrowing money for property that is not yet theirs. However, the things they bring down are already theirs.the Rennes manager was reassured.

For others, it has become a habit. “A gentleman comes every two months or so to drop off his hat ring and get about € 90. At the beginning of next month, he will come to pay off his debt. I knew it was for a living, sometimes even paying for dog food. »

Remembering the hard knocks

Loans of less than € 100 are not subject to interest, “There is only one fixed fee corresponding to 1% of the borrowed capital”. For example, for € 90 lent, there are 90 cents to pay. Crédit municipal is also a place with a social vocation. “It happened to me to be lent € 8 for a sandwich or a pack of cigarettes.»

Borrowers don’t have to say why they need the money, but sometimes tongues get loose. Despite the soulless decoration of the agency, located on the ground floor of a recent building, the two lenders were warmly received. “I work on listening. I try to remember their blow to talk about it again when they come back to pick up their things. » The partnership with the Center communal d’action sociale also allows Crédit municipal to provide microloans to fund a driver’s license, computer equipment, etc.

The pledge loan is contracted for six months, which can be renewed every six months for two years. After this date, if the customer has not yet paid his debt, his item will go up for auction. Only 7% of trusted items are not recoverable. This has never happened to Bonard.

ULAT. “We make loans of € 8 for a sandwich”

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