For more than four decades, Dallas’ P&J Pawn has served as both store and lender.
“We’ve been helping people in this neighborhood as long as I can remember,” said owner Patrick Wade. "There are so many people on fixed incomes that get their check, and there's a little bit more in the month than there is check."
Wade said he’s served some families across multiple generations looking for a little extra cash, making his business a bit of an economic barometer as inflation hits a 40-year high.
"Gas and groceries are a daily occurrence. I've got to feed my family. I can't get to work,” said Wade when asked what he hears from customers.
Get DFW local news, weather forecasts and entertainment stories to your inbox. Sign up for NBC DFW newsletters.
Year over year, he said the number of customers seeking loans has increased more than 50%.
"It is very unprecedented. We have more stuff coming in every day than we've ever seen. What we call pulls, that's when someone doesn't pay, that's increasing, which is reducing the cost of merchandise,” he said.
According to Wade, while sales are down slightly, he’s averaging about 30 people a day coming into pawn or sell.
The latest news from around North Texas.
"Just to pawn my game, just to make a couple of bucks to get up north,” said customer Phillip Thompson.
In a few days, Thompson said he’ll be on a bus to Washington to join his girlfriend and take a higher-paying job. Here at home, he said multiple family members have lamented rising costs.
"We're going from two or three bucks a gallon to four or five bucks a gallon. That's a drastic change,” he said.
Until it drops back down, Wade said his doors remain open to all families looking for new ways to cope.
“This is why I love this job. I’ve been able to help people every day for the last 34 years,” said Wade.