Pegadaian (Pawn Shop)

Mengatasi Masalah Tanpa Masalah

(Overcome Your Problems Without a Problem)


Throughout Indonesia there are approximately 1,125 government “pawn shops” (pegadaian). The central office is in Jakarta, and below that office are several area offices. The area offices then manage the many branches that are spread throughout the country.

These signs are an extremely common sight throughout Indonesian.

From movies, Americans have the perception of pawn shops as being operated by ruthless and cruel private owners who are frequently caught up in organized crime—purchasing stolen goods. The Indonesian “pawn shops” don’t resemble that at all. These offices would more rightly be described as being small lending banks.

These offices will lend anywhere from $20.00 USD to $20,000.00 USD (Rp20.000 sampai Rp200 juta). They don’t focus on buying and selling merchandise. They are focused on small loans, and they hold collateral until the loans are repaid. Four months is the maximum length of time for these loans. If they aren’t repaid by that time, the customer can commence monthly installments for repayment of the loan.

If a person needs quick cash, they merely need to:

  • Surrender their collateral like a valuable electronic product, gold, motorcycle, car, home, or land title, etc. If it’s a car or motorcycle they need to surrender the registration and title as well.
  • Give a photocopy of their identity card.
  • Sign the form and in 15 minutes the cash will be in their hand!

Very well placed signs like these are common, giving directions to the pegadaian office.
100 meters = 328 Feet

Other Services

The Indonesian “pawn shops” also have several other services, like:

  • Micro credit loans for small-business start ups. These loans are also guaranteed via collateral.
  • Safe deposit boxes.
  • Appraisal Services: These offices will inspect gold and valuable jewelry to verify its authenticity and worth. They will then give a certificate verifying its quality.

    Sign along the road in front of a “pegadaian.”
    This particular branch has the word “syariah” on it, indicating they will accommodate those who want to use the sharia law system.

Syariah / Sharia

For Muslims that prefer to follow sharia law, these Indonesian pawn shops have a system to accommodate them. On the branches that provide this service, you will see the word “Syariah” on the sign in front of the office.