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ARLINGTON, Va.-NAFCU President and CEO Fred Becker’s voice could be heard on radios all over the country last week teaching consumers why zero-zero auto financing may not be the best deal for them. For the last two years, Becker explained, NAFCU has been hearing from its members who are concerned some of their members are being taken for a ride when it comes to captive auto financiers promising 0% interest but only to certain customers on certain vehicles with only 36 months to pay it off. The automobile industry used 0% financing to get people in their showrooms during the lagging economy. Buyer beware, Becker says. “Consumers need to get the financial education they need to make the right decisions,” he said. They must be educated on the vehicle they have selected but also on their credit score and should also evaluate the value of the rebate the dealer may be offering against the 0% financing. Drawbacks to the zero-zero can be higher payments due to shortened loan terms; application fees; and pre-payment penalties. Becker spoke to about a dozen radio stations spanning from Moneywatch Radio Network with a national audience to KIKK in Houston, Texas and WHUD in Westchester, N.Y. He estimated the stations had a combined power to reach approximately 80 million Americans. Becker directed listeners to NAFCU’s Web site, www.nafcu.org, which includes a section on zero-zero financing.

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