15 thoughts on “Fun With Numbers: I Can Save You $19,714 (Without United First Financial)

  1. Anna Collins

    I am an agent for UFF and I am really impressed with this program. I bought a house one year ago in CA and lost $138,000 in value already. I am on an interest only for 7 years and I will break even and make up the $138,000 loss in 7 years. What other program can help me do this? This is the only answer versus short selling, foreclosure or bankruptcy. This program is ideal for those on fixed incomes, little disposable income and even those or will little or no debt. This program is a must and there is no other program out there that can even come close to this one.

  2. PGW

    I liked the illustration regarding plopping down the $3500 onto your principal, and saving about $19k. What I didn’t like is the other idea of using “mortgage accelerator loans” …”for a few hundred bucks up front, plus a very small annual fee (less than $100″.

    Why pay the lender extra fees? How about this:
    Pay an extra amount each month that applies to the principal? If your payment is $1264 per month, round it up to $1300 (an extra $36/month). Increasing your payment by only $36 each month will reduce the term by about three years and save about $20,000.

    Another option… instead of making a monthly payment, send in half of your payment every two weeks. This in effect is similar to making an extra payment every year because you will make 26 half payments, equivalent to 13 monthly payments in a year.

    Both of these examples do not require annual fees. If you can afford the annual fee plop that down on your mortgage too!


  3. Pete

    I read the United First Financial website, and this is how I understand it — please correct me if I’m wrong. When you get your paycheck, you deposit it into the “Money Merge Account” at which time your mortgage is immediately paid down be the amount of the deposit. After that, you pay your bills, etc from that account, and any remaining amount stays paid against the mortgage principal.

    So it sounds to me like the difference between doing that and just making extra payments, is that if you need the money, you can get it back out. Right now, if I pay extra toward principal, but then find I need that extra money in a few months to pay for something else, I can’t get it back out from my mortgage.

    I currently keep a “cushion” in my checking account for unexpected expenses. If I could keep that cushion, but while doing so have it sit against my mortgage principal that would be great. I’m sure it’s something that isn’t as expensive as United Financial’s product, but how do I get that, and what is it called?

  4. Tracy Coenen

    Pete – It’s called a home equity line of credit, which is what UFF uses. Your paycheck goes against your mortgage, but as soon as you need the money to pay bills, you’re drawing off the HELOC, which almost always has a higher interest rate than your mortgage. Our experts have run the numbers if you’ll take the time to poke around a little…. This money shuffle likely saves you about $15 a month in the best case scenario. For most people, the money shuffle will save them $2 or $3 a month. The annual fee for the HELOC often exceeds those savings, so you’re still behind even if you don’t pay UFF for their software and try replicate the system.

  5. Craig

    Pete, I’m about as risk-averse as people get. I kept a cushion in a savings account. How much is up to you. I kept enough in there for two months of expenses (probably too much), plus at least $1000 in chequing because that amount cancels my transaction fees (which would be a lot more than the interest I could earn with $1000).

    Tracy is right that you can open a HELOC, and just not use it. Keep it for a rainy day. Any of the above approaches will beat the MMA, mostly because you avoid the $3500 boat anchor, and partly because borrowing from a HELOC at a higher rate of interest to pay a low interest mortgage violates math and common sense.

  6. Pete

    Got it! Thanks for the info. The way they make it sound on their website, the deposit just goes against the mortgage and you can pull it out again when you need it — so I assumed that it was the same interest rate. I’m familiar with HELOC, though these days, I’ve had friends who’ve said that their line has just been turned off/ pulled right out from under them. We have a pretty big mortgage payment for our 3 unit bldg (6,700/month for the interest only) so I’d like to pay it down early as much as possible, but I’m also trying to keep cash on hand for emergencies in this shaky economic environment. I’ll check with my bank on the HELOC rates and see if that makes sense for us for the rates.

  7. Craig

    The other important point in this discussion of risk and how much cash to keep on hand, is that the MMA user has zero cash on hand – only debt and access to more debt.

    Like I said above, you can keep access to more debt in a HELOC (in the second position), and just not use it until you have to. I had a HELOC for my first mortgage, because there was a “sale” on HELOCs for first-position mortgages and we could get a better rate (4.4%). We never borrowed against the HELOC (advances were charged at 6%), though the bank obviously wanted us to.

    (In case of foreclosure, the mortgage or HELOC in the “first position” is paid first from the proceeds from the sale of the property, then the secured loan in the “second position”, and so on.)

  8. JB Green


    Your HELOC for a first mortgage may have been a good buy on rates, but others out there may not realize that first trust deeds have certain “features” that a HELOC in first position does not provide you.

    Arguably, this is a feature that most don’t want to think about. First trust deed mortgages are tied to the property. In the event of default, the holder of that mortgage can take the property – but not pursue the borrower further. Not so with HELOCs in any position.

    So, in the event one’s financial life falls apart and they default on their mortgage(s), the bank holding the first trust deed mortgage cannot go after the borrower after foreclosure expenses, interest when carrying it in their real estate owned inventory, and sales expenses exceed the amount of the sale. If the first is a HELOC, they can.

    Second mortgages always could, regardless of type.

    It’s one factor seldom considered when one refinances a home.

  9. MinnItMan

    I’m pretty sure that JB has no clue what he’s talking about. A “first mortgage” is a “first mortgage” in every state I’m aware of, regardless of whether it’s a thirty year amortized debt, or a revolving LOC. Many states have anti-deficiency judgment and/or “single action rule” statutes where a secured creditor must chose whether to sue on the debt or foreclose its lien. In some, for example Minnesota, both remedies may be pursued, but foreclosure must be done judicially. It is widely understood by creditors that judgments so obtained tend to be uncollectible/worthless, so they raely occur.

  10. Craig Hansen

    JB and MinnItMan, I couldn’t really tell you which of you is right. First, I don’t live in any state – I’m north of you, eh? Second, I’m now mortgage-free (because I applied more money to my mortgage) and don’t care to review the old paperwork.

    Being mortgage-free is great, and if I had bought the MMA, it would have taken me longer.

  11. Shellynm

    Amazing that people would pay that much for such an obvious plan. Pay more of your principle than the minimum. $3500 for what could be done with a spreadsheet or a simple plan. MLM’s are dangerous things in general. You can’t possibly get value from products that pay so much to the salesperson and who knows how many upliners. They create a fervency and zeal in their members that defies all logic. $3500 for this product is such obvious rubbish. If you can’t figure out that you need to pay high interest credit cards off first, I guess there’s no helping you. If you don’t know how to set up a spreadsheet to make a schedule up that pays off your mortgage early, any accountant or tax preparer could help you out for a very small fraction of their charges.

  12. jerry stepke

    So has anyone of the commenter’s put the $3,500 towards there principal and saved any money?
    My only thought is this, why does anyone pay a financial planer to help then save money and invest there extra money, and why does anyone pay a personal trainer to help exercise.
    I think the reasons are obvious that if you don’t have someone or some thing helping, you won’t succeed.
    I have been interested in this system for about 3 years. I don’t see anything wrong with a system that offers help, its not like a Madoff scam it’s a real system with real results and sure you can think up your own system if you want and I would ask these of the other commenter’s, after you do come up with your own system would you be will to come to my house and help me with it, and how much do I have to pay you.

  13. Tracy Coenen

    Jerry – This system does not offer help. That is the deception. I like your example of a personal trainer. The Money Merge program would be like you hiring a trainer, and during your sessions, the trainer just takes you to McDonalds and sits there and eats with you for an hour. The program does not get you ahead in any way.

    I will give you my system for free. You do not need my help to follow it. (Or if you do, then you should not be handling money EVER, in any way.) Pay the minimum due on all your debts each month. At the end of the month, take any extra cash you have, and pay it toward your debt with the highest interest rate. Do this every single month.

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