Ford offers 0% financing, cash incentives on some 2012 models

Ford oval badge on red car hood

The average cost of a 5-year, new-car loan is as cheap as we've ever seen, but Ford is offering an even better deal on many popular 2012 models.

Free financing.

That deal is good on the Escape, Explorer, Fiesta, Fusion, Mustang and Taurus models.

Loans are offered through Ford Motor Credit at 0% interest for up to 60 months.

Here's one example of what this deal can mean.

The sticker price of a 2012 Ford Escape XLS starts at $22,265, including destination charges.

After you make a 10% down payment, the loan amount would be $20,038. Finance that balance at 4.45% (the mid-August average, according to our survey of lenders), and your monthly payment would be about $373.

But if you take out a 0% loan with the same amount, the monthly payments would be $334 a month.

Taking advantage of the interest-free deal saves $39 monthly, which adds up to an extra $2,340 in your pocket over the term of the loan.

Many dealerships are also offering bonus cash rebates in addition to 0% financing. For example, the same Escape is offered with $2,000 bonus cash along with the interest-free loan, bringing the total savings to $4,340.

Ford also has incentive deals for regular financing. On the 2012 Escape XLS, a buyer could receive up to $3,500 cash back when financing with Ford Motor Credit on a nonpromotional loan.

But if that regular financing rate is close to the national average, the interest-free loan and smaller cash bonus would be the better deal, because the total savings would be more than $3,500.

In fact, we’ve found that 0% financing is the best discount you can get on a vehicle.

Use our auto loan calculator to help you budget your monthly payment.

Incentives vary across the country. For example, some dealerships may offer up to $1,750 bonus cash instead of $2,000. Check with your dealer for details.

To get the 0% interest rate, you'll have to purchase your new vehicle from what's available on a dealer's lot by Oct. 1, 2012.

You’ll need to be a well-qualified buyer to drive off in a new ride with this deal.

There are no hard-and-fast rules, but if your credit score is less than 670, don’t be surprised if you get turned down for the promotional rate.

If you’re in the hunt for a new auto, use our 5 simple steps to the best deal on a new car or truck.

In addition, search our database of the best auto loan rates from several other lenders in your area.

It can help you score a good deal if you decide to buy a car other than a 2012 Ford that qualifies for 0% financing.

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