WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (5/15/08)--Truliant FCU’s first nine months of a 0% auto financing program resulted in 1,650 auto loans worth $25 million. The $1.086 billion asset, Winston-Salem, N.C.-based credit union started the program last year in a move that led to the credit union directly competing with auto dealerships that provide zero financing (Winston-Salem Journal May 13). Truliant took an idea from auto manufacturers and reinvented it to make it more appealing to credit union members, said Jeff Hardin, North Carolina Credit Union League spokesman. Using Truliant’s zero-rate auto loan, members pay all of their interest up front. The down payment lowers their monthly payment and finance costs, Truliant Spokesman Ryan Shell told the newspaper. Members can use the loan to purchase a used or new car or refinance an existing loan on any car. Average savings over the life of the loan for people using zero financing is about $1,200, Shell said. Hardin said he is unaware of any program that is comparable to Truliant’s zero-rate loan.