Minneapolis, Minnesota – U.S. Bank has created a new auto loan program with reduced rates for vehicles certified as environmentally-friendly “SmartWay” by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). It is the first major bank in the United States to offer this type of loan.

The program offers a half-percentage rate reduction on vehicles designated “SmartWay,” which identifies vehicles that offer low emissions and good fuel economy. The bank said that its program rewards customers who want to have a more positive effect on the environment, but don’t want to restrict their purchases to hybrids or alternative-fuel vehicles. Approximately 16 per cent of all 2009 vehicles are “SmartWay”, identified by a special designation on the vehicle sticker.

To further extend the environmental commitment, the loans are set up on automatic payment, with no paper statements generated. The program is available on new cars, and used vehicles up to six years old.

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