Who We Are

Store History

Jack Friedman started Bonded Loan Office in 1941, in the same spot on Assembly Street where it is today. An immigrant from Romania, Jack came into the country through Ellis Island, working his way down from New York to Richmond, Virginia. Noticing a storefront with his name, Jack walked into “Friedman’s Pawn Shop” and asked for a job. A few years later, Jack married the proprietor’s niece. 

With the whole world at war, the U.S. Government began building the Fort Jackson military base in South Carolina. Jack saw an opportunity and took it. Moving to Columbia, South Carolina in 1941, he opened Bonded Loan Office the same year, and immediately began a thriving business. Every weekend men in training were bussed in to downtown Columbia, and the streets bustled with activity as Columbia residents and military men shopped and socialized.

Jack’s son Sig, who had served four years in the Navy, moved his wife and three small children to Columbia in 1968 to help with the shop and take care of Jack, whose health had started to decline. When Jack passed away, Sig continued running Bonded Loan Office and teaching his son, Jay Friedman the business.

Family owned and operated for four generations now, Jay and his son, Louis, continue to build on the traditions Jack began in 1941. Interacting with customers is about more than a transaction, it’s an opportunity to visit and catch up with neighbors. We want every client to feel respected and welcomed as they walk through our door. We are a part of this Columbia community and we value our place within it.

Bonded Loan Office is fully insured and licensed by the South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs.

About the Owners

Jay Friedman

Jay was five years old when his family moved to Columbia. He grew up in the shop alongside his grandfather and father, where he learned what customer service really looks like,how customers should be treated, and what it means to be in the business of buying, selling, and providing short-term loans to people.

Jay is a graduate of the University of South Carolina and of the Gemological Institute of America, where he received a graduate gemology degree in the appraisal of fine gemstones.

Louis Friedman

Louis knew early on he wanted to work at Bonded Loan with his father, Jay. Like his father before him, Louis has the benefit of growing up in the shop, learning as he observed his grandfather and father interact with customers and conduct business. After attending college in Alabama, Louis returned to South Carolina to continue in the family business.

Louis is a graduate of the University of Alabama and of the Gemological Institute of America, and like his father, is a graduate gemologist qualified to appraise gems to ensure each client gets the best possible deal whether they’re selling or buying.