To take advantage of a zero-percent
car loan, you've got to have outstanding credit.
Toyota requires a FICO score of at least 650 for its zero-percent loans. GMAC's best rate demands a FICO score of at least 700.
Nissan best rate requires a 730. (A perfect FICO score is 850.) Your FICO score is available for $47.50 from www.fico.com. Also, check your credit reports for errors at the free, government-mandated site www.annualcreditreport.com. There are three credit reporting agencies -- Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion: They don't necessarily agree. You can get one free report every three months. Also, there are some free sites that estimate your FICO score. One is www.whatsmyscore.org and another is quizzle.com, though the latter is funded by Quicken Loans. Those with serious credit problems can contact the non-profit National Foundation for Credit Counseling at nfcc.org. A tip: Cancelling credit cards hurts your FICO score as does opening new ones. "It's important to have more -- rather than less -- lines of credit right now," said consumer advocate Clark Howard.