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Interest Rates Parts 1 and 2

Monday, November 5, 2001 at 12:49 PM

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Zero percent interest is becoming the name of the game when it comes to luring consumers to buy everything from new cars to furniture and appliances. With the slowing economy, some retailers need to sell their goods even if it means no financing profits. However, not everyone will share in the bounty of free interest rates. 90.3 WCPN's Mike West has this report. Aired November 5, 2001.

Part 1
Mike West- Zero percent interest is becoming the name of the game when it comes to luring consumers to buy everything from new cars to furniture and appliances. With the slowing economy, some retailers need to sell their goods even if it means no financing profits. However, not everyone will share in the bounty of free interest rates. Matt Hollis is a spokesman for a local company that helps consumers raise their credit rating scores. He says only folks with perfect credit qualify for things like 0% car loans. Hollis say it can also be difficult to fix inacuracies with your credit rating because credit agencies don’t like going through the expense of making changes in their records, and they avoided sharing information until being forced by the law.

Matt Hollis- It’s almost like the shell game where they didn’t want people to know what their credit score was - they didn’t want ‘em looking at the credit score on an annual basis.

MW- Hollis says mistakes are bound to occur because credit bureaus handle 200 million files each year and accept information from 40,000 collection agencies. To find out more about this story go to our web site at wcpn.org.

Part 2
MW- Some consumers are finding that not everyone gets those zero percent interest rates we have heard so much about. The big three auto makers are finding that by offering free financing they can get more folks onto sales lots. But Matt Hollis says most car buyers are in for a surprise. His company helps consumers find and correct problems with their credit report. But he says when looking at TV ads the fine print can be hard to see.

Matt Hollis- They tell you the exclusions to zero percent but it’s usually done so quick people don’t really grasp that there’s only a small percentage that qualify for that zero percent interest.

MW- However, there may be good news. Hollis says up to 50% of all credit reports contain inaccuracies. He says those mistakes can make a big difference on how much you have to pay for a car. Hollis says you should check your credit report at least once a year to make sure you get the lowest rates that you credit history will allow. To find out more about this story go to our web site at wcpn.org.

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