If you owed a bank money under a loan that had an interest rate of 6%… And I came along and said to you “Here, take this loan with an interest rate of 8% and use the money to pay off the loan you already have…”
What would you say?
Anyone with remedial math skills would say NO WAY!
But logic, common sense, and simple math are not going to get in the way of a United First Financial “agent.” No sir! We don’t want no stinkin’ MATH. We want to talk about algorithms and hope to confuse you into believing that the UFF Money Merge Account is the answer to all your debt woes.
Here’s how one pusher of the UFF program explains what you do under the program:
However you have a fundamental misunderstanding about this program… you seem to think that this program is only about applying discretionary income. It is not (some of the “competing” programs are about that though… so this might be where your confusion came from). To get the maximum savings you need to calculate how high you can drive that balance on the HELOC. SO Calvin… with your math above… what would be the amount you would borrow from the HELOC for the first transfer to the primary mortgage?
Now let’s stop for a moment. HELOC’s (home equity lines of credit) have higher interest rates than your traditional mortgage. It’s just how it is.
Do you see what this woman is saying? She’s saying you want a HIGH balance on your HELOC to pay down your primary mortgage? What? No one in their right mind purposely swaps out debt at a lower interest rate (primary mortgage) so they end up with interest at a higher rate (HELOC).
Unless you use the United First Financial program. Then you do. Oh wait…. I can hear it now. YOU JUST DON’T UNDERSTAND. Nope. I understand all too well, and that’s why I’m working to debunk the bad information the people marketing this program are putting out there.
I know how the story goes. You’re not reeeeeeeeeally swapping out the debt and letting more debt sit on the HELOC. You’re just using the fancy money swap rather than a checking account and reaping all these secret benefits and you end up paying your mortgage off early.
NEWSFLASH: Skip the HELOC. Just take excess cash from your checking account and apply it directly to your primary mortgage. No fooling around with a HELOC. No fees from the HELOC. No closing costs. No higher interest rate. No swapping lower interest rate debt for higher interest rate debt. Just pay the money on your mortgage and you’ll be far, far ahead without the UFF program.
Here’s another thing most consumers aren’t aware of when they listen to the pitch from a United First Financial agent: They put your finances into their program and spit out an analysis that shows you paying off your mortgage far sooner than without their program. Why? Not because of the program (although they’ll tell you the program is responsible for the success).
You see, the analysis they do is biased. They take your current debt and calculate the minimum payments on it. Then they calculate your situation using their “program” and applying all your discretionary income to your debt (i.e. lots of prepayments). They set those side by side, and of course the UFF program appears to win.
Here’s what one guy has to say about this demonstration technique:
This isn’t rocket science folks, just really slimy marketing. Interest cancellation for a given month is worth less than the change you find in the parking lots over the course of the same month.
These guys ONLY compare to people paying the minimums, never to what you can do prepaying. Why? Because they know they will ALWAYS lose.
They market the program in a way which makes it look like the program is responsible for your savings. The truth is that your prepayment is responsible for the savings, and the prepayment has nothing to do with the program. When you see the analysis of your situation, you may not realize that the UFF program is only comparing minimum payments to much larger payments (the mortgage prepayment) in their UFF example.
So what are you really being sold with the $3,500 United First Financial Money Merge Account program? A supposed magic cure for your debt problems, which is a complete fantasy. About the only thing (short of bankruptcy or negotiating your balances down) that will get you out of debt is actually paying money toward those debts.
Here’s a pretty accurate description of what UFF is selling you:
Some of us care because this MMA program stinks to high heaven. Repeatedly we are asked to believe that magic software can pull money out of thin air to pay down your mortgage faster than you could possibly do it yourself using “algorithms” that are way beyond mere humans to be able to replicate. In fact, we are told repeatedly that if you DO try to pay off your mortgage earlier yourself without this magic software you will almost certainly fail.
I care, personally, because I hate being lied to. The bit about the algorithms is almost priceless, seriously it ought to be framed. I’ve written batch files in the past, and all an algorithm is at bottom is a batch file. It’s a set of instructions that tells the application how to carry out certain other instructions. The algorithms in the UFF app don’t, in and of themselves, justify a multi-thousand dollar price tag. At anything more than $150.00 it is seriously overpriced, especially considering that there’s other budgetary software on the market that does the job for less than that. See the link below for more details.
What about the idea that the United First Financial program is educational? When all else fails and the program itself is proven to be worthless, the “agents” fall back on the argument that the UFF program is teaching consumers about finance, and therefore worth the cost of admission.
Are they serious? You can get educated about finances for much less than $3,500. There are plenty of books and consumer programs out there that can help. There are credit counselors who will educate you for a minimal fee, sometimes even for free. No, the “education” that the program supposedly provides is not with the $3,500 fee either.
So let the name calling begin! (Anyone who disputes the results of the program or dares to say that it’s a waste of $3,500 is automatically dubbed ignorant.)