33 thoughts on “Getting Into Even More Credit Card Trouble With United First Financial

  1. Tracy Coenen

    Ya think???

    How long will it take for someone to tell us we just don’t understand? Cuz if you use the program as directed, you’ll be farrrrr better off.


  2. Don

    This is not using debt to pay off debt dollar for dollar. It is leveraging money. Chase, BOA, US Bank, 5/3 and others. Have made trillions leveraging checking and savings accounts into big profits. They borrow our money lend it to us at a higher interest rate than they are paying. That’s leverage. Ufirst affectively lowers the interest due on the moneys leveraged to pay down isolated amounts of mortage debt at a higher affective interest rate. If I pay a lower interest bill on the moneys levereged to pay down a higher effective interest rate, then I save the difference. If this did not work then banks would be out of business. Stop thinking like a bank customer and learn to think like the bank!

    If leveraging OPM did not work then why has Chase not closed all of it’s bank branches and just invest they billions of dollars they have made from interest. Because it is very profitable to borrow my checking account money at 1/2 to 2% and lend it to you at 7% or 15% for credit cards.

    Take an educated look at UFirst and stop relying on misinformation. It is just math…a very good way to leverage the banks money to pay less interest on any other loan.

  3. Tracy Coenen

    Don – That would be nice if that was the way it worked. You’re suggesting UFF leverages “lower interest” debt to pay off higher interest debt. How so?

    I’ll tell you how – They’re NOT. They’re leveraging HIGHER interest debt (the HELOC) to pay down lower interest debt (the regular mortgage).

    So what you’re saying in theory is fine. It’s just not what’s happening with UFF.

    Again, you’re not saving money with UFF because of the secret money shuffle. You’re saving money because of prepayment of your mortgage, period.

    But saying “leverage” impresses potential buyers of your overpriced service.

  4. Don

    Not Really… I have to prove it. Because I mainly talk with Financial Planners, Mortage and Real Estate Brokers. So I have to prove my statements with math. The math works. I can show you in about 10 minutes.

    If I understood this program the way you did I would believe the same as you, “UFirst is a SCAM” Can you invest 10 minutes with me so I can do the math for you…no smoke and mirrors with double talk.

  5. Tracy Coenen

    You can email me anything you want. Although you shouldn’t waste your time with the “putting your money in your checking account to work for you argument”.

    I understand that the UFF program uses this HELOC instead of a checking account… under the theory that you’re using the money which would have been sitting in the checking account collecting no interest to make a prepayment on mortgage debt until you need to get the money back again and use it for bills.

    But here’s the problem: The savings from doing that are so minimal as to make it not worth the trouble. Certainly not worth the $3,500 fee. Not worth the fees to actually get and keep the HELOC.

    Experts have shown that consumers will save a couple of hundred dollars a year doing this, at most. NOT WORTH THE MONEY.

    Here’s my article that details the issue:

    And in case it’s still not clear…

    Let’s suppose you have $3,000 a month sitting idle in your checking account. You want to “put that to work for you” by prepaying on a mortgage and saving yourself some interest. On a 6% mortgage, the most you save is $15 a month. On an 8% mortgage, the most you save is $20.

    There’s your couple hundred bucks a year, and there’s no way anyone should pay $3,500 for access to such stupidity.

    (Let me guess: I just don’t understand, right? LOL)

  6. Tracy Coenen

    Oops – I forgot about the part where you use your higher interest HELOC debt to “drive down” the balance on your lower interest first mortgage. Yeah, that makes sense. Replace lower interest rate debt with higher interest rate debt.

  7. Ed

    This company discloses details and information about how the system works all over their corporate website. If this program is “not worth $10” as you have stated, why are many thousands of homeowners paying their homes off, sending in thousands of testimonial comments about the fact that they would never have done this on their own? Please don’t say it’s because they don’t understand how the system works. I know many of them personally and they range from accountants to financial planners to bank presidents. And yes, you do actually have to “use” the program in real life to give an opinion about how much value it holds.

    Just because you have an opinion that you can do something on your own, and your trying to make money off of selling your negative information, does not mean that this program is not delivering valuable service to many many people that understand the service, and have stated that they never would have done this on their own.

    One of the biggest problems in today’s economy is that the majority of people do not have a plan. They don’t see ahead of time what misspending here and there does to them in the long run. While you’re sitting here slashing this from one end to the other, many educated people are getting out from under the burden of debt at an accelerated rate, and they understand how it is being done, and they continue to say they would never have done it on their own. Could they have done it on their own? Possibly.

    Can people set out on a mission to demean and bash companies, simply to make a buck, on their own without buying your book? Absolutely.

    I am sorry to come across negative. I just hear from many of the people using this service on a daily basis. I hear from people that have stated that they tried to get ahead financially their whole life and were never able to, until they started using this service. I hear from people that stated they never could see light at the end of the tunnel, and now they can see it 5 years away. I hear from people that felt like they were doomed to fail financially, and now they can see how they can get ahead. I have spoken with 14 family’s who have paid their houses off in full with this program. I have asked them after paying off their homes with this service, if they felt like they could have done it as quickly on their own. Almost all of their responses have been something like “in theory yes, in reality no”.

    I look forward to your next negative response. Thanks.

  8. Tracy Coenen

    Awwww… Ed – Thanks for your kind words.

    See the best thing about this is that I’m not selling anything here. Not selling information. Not selling a bogus program. Nothing. I’m simply blogging about this issue in the interest of consumer awareness.

    What you’re forgetting to say is that consumers aren’t paying off mortgages early because of the UFF program.

    They’re paying them off early because of SIMPLE PREPAYMENT OF THE MORTGAGE. They can do it for free on their own.

    You gotta love this false representation on the page you linked to though:

    “With the Money Merge Account system, substantial savings are achieved by strategically and incrementally repositioning the unused money that you usually have “sitting stagnant” in a standard checking or savings account against the principal balance owing on your home until otherwise needed, without increasing your minimum required monthly mortgage payments. When you need access to money, you can draw money out through your line of credit.”

    You see, the money shuffle does not offer SUBSTANTIAL SAVINGS. Using money that is idle in your checking account does not offer SUBSTANTIAL SAVINGS.

    It’s the SIMPLE PREPAYMENT OF THE MORTGAGE, without the UFF program that offers substantial savings.

  9. Don

    Tracy the way you explain it you are absolutly right!…the system you describe will not work. I will explain how we isolate principal amounts this point alone makes all the difference. The problem with our website is that it is very easy to misunderstand our program the way it is written. So I don’t rely on it. I like talking to people like you… professionals in Financial Services. I hope to have a chance to to do just that.

  10. Tracy Coenen

    LOL – The “you just don’t understand” argument!

    “Isolate principal”??? I’ll isolate some principal for you.

    The program is based upon prepayment of a mortgage which any consumer can do for free (assuming their mortgage allows it).

    This program is simple math, and even though UFF “agents” (LOL) keep telling me I’m wrong and I don’t understand, none of them can explain how or why. Why do you suppose that is? It’s simple. It’s because the program is crap and not worth the money.

  11. Don

    I just told you I can and I will. Just not in an email. I love talking about this program and I have spent many hours studying it and teaching myself the easiest way to explain it. Let’s get together if you are interested in the truth. This will be my last offer. Thanks for your time.

  12. Tracy Coenen

    Dear Ed,

    Your snide comments will not be posted here.

    Please note also that MLM diehards are not the target market for my book, so I’m not writing about MLMs in an attempt to sell books. Nice try though.

  13. Julie


    I had a chance to read Ed’s comments before you erased them, and I thought he brought up some very interesting points. Why did you erase his comments and refer to them as snide? He was not being abusive, and raised some very interesting points. Just curious. Thanks!

  14. Tracy Coenen

    Nice try “Julie,” but you didn’t read them. No one could see them because they weren’t live. So does that mean you’re really Ed? Or are you Julie and lying on behalf of Ed?

    Wow, you UFF people will do anything to further your cause, won’t you?

  15. This is vastly entertaining, but I’ve seen zero evidence from the UFF sockpuppets that justifies their $3500 software, just the same retreaded emotional appeals, specious testimonials and ad hominem attacks. Trust me, none of those is a good way to deal with critics. It just shows their true colours as shysters.

    Mortgage prepayment is a good thing, and you don’t need to pay anyone to tell you how to do it.

    Debt reduction is a good thing, and there are plenty of resources available to help people struggling with debt that don’t cost $3500.

    No matter how it’s spun, swapping low-interest debt for higher interest debt is a bad idea.

    A $3500 debt reduction program is like a $100 glass of lemonade: it would make the person selling it really happy if you bought it, and they’re going to come up with all sorts of reasons in their sales pitch for why a $0.50 glass from the lemonade stand down the street just won’t do.

  16. Tracy Coenen

    Lee, you just don’t understand $100 lemonade. I don’t know why you choose to be ignorant about it. You should listen to our pitch before you dismiss the world’s best lemonade as a scam. Better yet, try it. If it doesn’t work like we said*, you can have your money back. Promise!

    *You must follow directions for drinking to the letter. Any deviation from the instructions (sip it too fast, too slow, put extra sugar in it, etc) will void our guarantee.

  17. Well played, Tracy!

    I’ve heard more MLM pitches than any one person should have to endure. When you point out the holes in their “business plan” or their “numbers” their arguments devolve rapidly from Syllogistic fallacies and appeals to authority into unfounded emotional appeals and ultimately to anger.

    It never gets old.

    If there’s no value in a proposition, insisting over and over that there is still doesn’t make it so.

  18. Hollis

    Ref Tracey: It is obvous that you do not have this program and probably don’t have amortgage, or you got the program and were not disciplined to follow it. I assure you it is excellent and I will have my home paid off in 5 years from now and will have saved over 400,000. How much will you have paid on your home.
    By the way thte 3700 doesn’t come out of your pocket but the 400,000 + goes in my pocket, what’s so complicated about that. Most people would give 3700 for even 5,000 in return much less getting back over 400,000.
    I think you need to understand before slandering a company that has surely help me and several other of my friends.

    Maybe you should spend your time with bottom sucking programs like some of the budget people present. DId I mention Ramsey, oh he’s your buddy I believe, maybe that’s why you are trying to be so negative, Grow up and do your home work, can’t believe I wasted my time writing to you

  19. Tracy Coenen

    If you’re so ignorant that you think this costs you nothing, you have no credibility here.

  20. Stevie

    I am looking into purchasing this software. I have read the above comments and understand the math presented and if one was thinking short term I would agree with the math presented however, if one is looking at the long term savings benefit I can not see how this software is a bad investment. According to my research, speaking to financial professionals and also being a mortgage professional myself using an interest cancellation program can save you thousands of dollars over a long term period. Can you explain to me in detail how one would achieve the same result on their own? With the programs math I figure I can pay off my mortgage of 197,000.00 at 6.75% in 9.6 years. Can you outline how I would do this on my own?


  21. Tracy Coenen

    Stevie – All you do is prepay your mortgage, which is FREE for you to do. First, take the $3,500 you would have wasted on UFF and put that directly on your mortgage. Then find a free mortgage calculator on line and use it to figure out how much extra you have to pay each month toward principal to have it paid off early. It’s really a simple concept, and your interest is “canceled” just like with UFF except you don’t pay a dime for it, nor do you do a silly money shuffle with a HELOC that costs you extra money. There are really no fancy details to it. That’s why this program is so laughable – it’s a complete waste of money.

  22. Elle

    I would like to comment on Tracy’s earlier statements. I went to an amoritization table and plugged in $202,517.00 debt for 28 years at 5.7% interest. The monthly payment would be $1207.69. I then put $3500 (the cost of the software) as a one-time payment and then began putting in extra monthly payments to see what it would take to pay the principal down to UFirst’s estimate. UFirst has estimated a savings of $133,832.12 and brought down the time from 28 years to 10 years. Finally I found the number to be $800 extra a month! WOW – It would take $3500 upfront and $800 a month extra to equal close to what UFirst had estimated. I stopped at $132,584 savings (as being close enough).

    Now, Tracy or anyone else – if I’m doing something wrong, please let me know but if not, I think “I rest my case”….

  23. Tracy Coenen

    Yes, you did something wrong. Where did UFF get its “savings”? From you making EXTRA PAYMENTS each month. Send me the analysis they did for you. I’ll show you exactly where you went wrong.

  24. joe the amatuer

    hey there everyone , i believe this is where internet can be the most dengerous to people , when anyone who can logg on line can feed you bunch of crap. i dont know much about ufirst , but here is what i know . i would give them 50000 if they guarantee money back if their “thing” wont work , why ?
    here , do this , take a monthly payment multiply it by 360( 30 years in month) and you will see that what you are paying to the bank is about 120 % interest after all is paid.
    and then they – banks,mortgages, have the nerves to ask you to refinance, which will put you back to square one and about 80% of money you paid in your payments are gone !!!
    to me , if there is a mortgage broker who pushes you into refi, after you have been in your house for 7 years , should be put in jail.
    as far as mma or map or any of these programs , if some one shows me this, how it works , i am all for it .
    ps: did you know , that ufirst – for example – won the financial program of the 2008 year ernst and young award ??
    i dont think they give those to scams. ernst and young is very solid company . check them out .
    just a thought …….

  25. Craig Hansen

    joe the amatuer [sic],

    You are welcome to give UFirst $50,000, and I’m convinced they would take it. This even follows one common claim of UFirst agents – that people are more likely to follow the MMA because they paid so much money for it. By that thinking, it would only be right for UFirst to charge $50,000. Also by that thinking, everyone with expensive Bowflex exercise equipment is in fantastic physical condition, though we know that isn’t true either.

    Of course, the guarantee only states that if your income, expenses and interest rates remain within the numbers provided for your MMA analysis, that your debts will be paid off within the timeframe shown on your MMA analysis. They are basically guaranteeing that they got the math right on the analysis – that’s it. If you notice how the MMA is inefficiently carrying a balance in a higher interest rate debt than your first mortgage, for example, that is not grounds for a refund. If you do the math and realize how much further you would be ahead without the MMA, that is not grounds for a refund.

    As for your refi rant, I have no idea where you’re going with that. You refinance when you can’t meet your obligations, you want to take advantage of lower rates, or you need to access some of the equity in your home for whatever reason, among other less common reasons. Your 80% figure is just wrong.

    Ernst & Young did not award UFirst with anything close to “financial program of the 2008 year”. E&Y awarded the founders of UFirst with “Entrepreneur of the Year” for Utah only. E&Y explicitly stated that they only sponsor the award, and they did not review the nominees, nor do they endorse UFirst. You can confirm this with Andy Heaton of E&Y’s Ethics Department. Of course, UFirst issued a memo to agents, forbidding them from contacting UFirst. Agents can log into their back office to read the memo. The first two bullet points from that memo are below:

    • DO NOT contact any office of Ernst & Young at any time for any reason. Please direct all questions to the UFirst Agent Support or Compliance Departments.
    • While we realize you cannot totally prevent potential clients from contacting Ernst & Young directly, we strongly urge you to discourage them from doing so.

    UFirst clearly doesn’t want people learning the particulars about the award, and they probably don’t want agents pestering E&Y and tipping them off that the judging panel in Utah made a very curious decision.

  26. ArroganceRules

    I am a UFIRST agent. I had a client last week who was looking at the program and said.. “Dave Ramsey says people can get out of debt by just sending extra money to their debts.”

    I said… “Dave is right.”

    I started to put my computer away.

    He was shocked. He said… “Really… you agree?”

    I said… “Of course I agree. My next door neighbor is 39 and he has his house paid off and he is completely debt free. Obviously people can get out of debt all by themselves. But let me be sure I am clear as to what you are saying…. Are you saying YOU can do this yourself? Because… if you can… what has been STOPPING you so far? Why do you even HAVE debt?”

    This man was 50. He had a mortgage, a car loan and credit card debt. He was typical… the average American has less than $3000 in their retirement fund and the average American family has $9000 in credit card debt.

    For about 5 minutes I sat there and listened to him describe why he was in debt. Then we spent 10 minutes getting him signed for for the program.

    This week I’m supposed to talk to his daughter and her husband.

    Bottom line is this… as a UFIRST agent I never talk to anyone who can “do this themselves.” Why? Because they are either ALREADY debt free, or well on their way there. They don’t make appointments with me.

    Statistically only 5% of people will stick to a debt pay down plan and only a little over 10% of people will stick to ANY financial plan.

    95% of UFIRST clients stick to the program (after over 5 years of history) and the average client is getting 20% better results.

    You can exercise at home, you can go to the gym. You can go to the gym and use a personal trainer. But what if you had a personal trainer that came to your house and WOKE YOU UP?

    When it comes to debt.. American’s need to WAKE UP before it is too late for them.

  27. ArroganceRules

    By the way… for accuracy’s sake… United First Financial founders won the “Entrepreneur Of The Year” award for 2008 in the category of “financial services” from the Utah region of ERNST & YOUNG.

    The award is decided by a team of 16 “independent professionals,” who are considered leaders in their industry in that region. Note they are described as independent. They are not connected to either E&Y or UFIRST. Reasonable people would construe this to mean they are impartial.

    If you want to see the criteria the Judging panel used for the award… just go to the E&O web site… it is right on there.

    The reason the bulletin is on the UFIRST back office not to call Ernst & Young is simply because it is not fair to burden E&Y with phone calls from UFirst agents.

    E&Y has not “distanced” itself from UFIRST, they simply issued a statement that the award is not an “endorsement.” Pretty standard fare for many companies that sponsor awards. Most of they time these awards are PR moves by the sponsoring company and they keep the judging at “arms length” by using independent judges.

  28. Tracy Coenen

    E&Y didn’t issue that statement as something “standard.” They issued it because they were sick of UFF people saying E&Y endorsed them. Remember, the panel didn’t give the award because MMA is a good product. They gave it because the people who started the comapny figured out a way to make tons of money off consumers. There’s a big difference.

  29. Craig Hansen

    “Statistically only 5% of people will stick to a debt pay down plan and only a little over 10% of people will stick to ANY financial plan.

    95% of UFIRST clients stick to the program (after over 5 years of history) and the average client is getting 20% better results. ”

    Numbers like these (stats without citations) are the only numbers we usually get out of UFirst agents.

    UFirst doesn’t have 5 years of history, and there is no way to verify the 95% or 20% figures. That said, any change in financial position that caused the MMA outlook to improve, would improve the non-MMA outlook just as much.

    And despite your appeal that you’re here to help people, you’re selling them a product that filters income and expenses though a useless HELOC or other account that has nothing to do with the savings realized. It’s all about prepayments, which don’t require a HELOC, credit card, or any other financial product that the homeowner doesn’t already have. The MMA is based on a smokescreen.

    Finally, the MMA is more work than simple prepayments. People need to spend more time on their finances, but with budgets – not the MMA.

    Here’s some great MMA instructions to see an average for how much you spend each month eating out:
    1. Put a monthly average under cashflow (Example: Food, set up as monthly, for $300, due on the end of the month)
    2. When you go out to eat the first time, execute the Food line item…when the pop up box comes up, change the name “Food” to “Olive Garden”, change the amount from $300 to $25, change the date from the 30th to the date you went, and uncheck the Final Transaction Box. Click Execute.
    3. On the Action Plan, the Food line item will now show up for $275(the amount remaining). When You click over to the MMA tab, you will see the Olive Garden line item for $25
    4. Everytime you eat out, you will repeat those steps, and make sure to uncheck the Final Transaction box until the last time you eat out for the month, so the program knows you are done with that line item
    5. When you go to the MMA tab select Food Category, you will now see each line item.

    THIS is going to get people to keep track of their finances? The MMA is clunky. A piece of paper would be so much easier to use for this purpose. Quicken or MS Money, with their ability to import transactions from your bank, blow the MMA away, and are $3400+ less expensive.

    As for E&Y’s award, the Utah region previously awarded the Entrepreneur of the Year to Amway and XanGo.

  30. regina


    I have unfortunately encouraged my father to buy the software and get the heloc. Now, how can we really make this software work for us? The software supposedly alerts you to when to make an extra payment…is this true? Have we been scamed?

  31. Craig Hansen

    Regina, if he bought less than three days ago, file for a refund NOW. You only have 3 days to get a refund. After that, no matter how unsatisfied you are, you will not get a refund.

    Does that tell you whether or not you’ve been scammed? Because you have been scammed.

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