149 thoughts on “Ufirst Money Merge Account: Resistance is Futile

  1. Tracy…

    Seems like so much of what the other MLMs try to sell onto their people is just as unnecessary for the most part as this debt killing software which that is designed more to kills a person budget to buying it in the first place. Books, tapes, and other mostly useless information pushed on MLM distributors is absolutely “optional” and the box in front of Standing Order Tape should not be checked people. Neither should the contract.

    How simple, just pay extra money toward your mortgage every month. Seems like a simple thing to do made extremely complex in expensive soft(con)ware shorting the victim out of 35 Franklins. But of course, resistance is futile! Smile

  2. What is truly remarkable though is this: There are countless blogs with thousands of posts on MMA. No agent can discuss it only with numbers. They go off on tangents, anedotes, and Horatio Alger stories.
    When I prove the numbers just don’t work, they fall back to “but how many people actually do this on their own?”
    So $3500 is the right amount to extract from someone who needs promting to send all their money to their mortgage? They then take credit for the magic the program provides. The HELOC use savings isn’t even enough to cover the cost of the program. Remarkable the state’s attorneys general haven’t cracked down on this.

  3. What V4.0 also does is suggest that one charge everything on a credit card, use the month’s cash to pay toward the mortgage, and use the next month’s income to pay the card. Makes sense, but it’s also one more way for MMA to take credit for a chunk of change that was always there.

  4. Kudos Tracy !

    As a forensic accountant who investigates financial crimes (like the mma SCAM) consumers should heed your words!

    It’s all “Smoke and Mirrors” http://www.theage.com.au/news/property/smoke-and-mirrors/2004/09/28/1096137225560.html

    The MMA is sold based on nothig but Lies and Deception. Consumers should ask themselves why the swindlers who peddal this mma crap aren’t being honest? … as with all financial crimes the motivation is nothing but ignorance and greed at heart!

  5. Craig

    Wild Wild West – UFF agents don’t know the math. Most don’t seem to know mortgage math, never mind the useless algorithm touted by the MMA. They won’t show us the money movements of the MMA in great detail, either, as I’m sure it would be pretty easy to deconstruct what the MMA does with a few lines of computer code. The irony is, you could write a more efficient mortgage acceleration program with fewer lines of code and ignore the HELOC or CC option altogether.

  6. WWW – it won’t happen. Once you dig into the math, you realize that the true return from the HELOC shuffle simply cannot exceed the cost of the program. What they rely on is the confusion due to compound interest and time value of money.
    I plug in $5000 as a first month prepayment, and see that I’ve saved $23304 in future interest. This is real, simply the future value of $5000 over 30 yrs at 6%. But the agents promote how you’ve magically saved $23K in the first month of your MMA program, and all you paid them was $3500! Then, when you pay every last cent of your extra income to the HELOC over the next 8 months to pay the total of $5000 plus the $3500 cost, they downplay the fact that it was your own money doing this, not the HELOC shuffle. They will even show how $8500 borrowed at 8%/yr, but for an average balance of about half that will cost you only $227 or so in interest! Wow! Look at that! They just saved you $23K, and after 8 months you only paid $227 in interest to save that huge sum. “You simply cannot do this on your own!”

    In the end, it takes “sophisticated algorithms”, “factorial math” , and “Eye of newt and toe of frog, wool of bat and tongue of dog” *** to confuse any prospective buyer who already has little idea how a mortgage works.

    To be fair, I’ve had recent dialog with a number of agents, two of whom do not hype the HELOC savings, but offer the product as an organising tool to change one’s behavior. If you maintain a zero checking balance and every expense is shown to cost you 6X that amount at the back end (e.g. a $500 gas grill purchase when plugged into my spreadsheet would save $3,000 of the end of the mortgage). While I maintain that I can still do this on my own, one kind agent said I was atypical, many don’t have the knowledge or inclination, they need more handholding. For them, I view the $3500 as an idiot tax, and concede that for those so ignorant, they may be better off with the program than without. This is as far as I’ll ever go to offer any positive remarks regarding MMA. 98% of agents continue with the hyperbole and cllaims that are simply false.

    *** (sorry, there’s actually no eye of newt involved, my bad)

  7. MIKE

    Can someone tell me why Ernst Young gave that company the Entrepreneur of year award? I think they know how money works or maybe they dont, if it helps you fine if not fine. The bottom line the people using it are better off than they were. Remember time value of money .

  8. Tracy Coenen

    Ernst & Young did not give them an award. E&Y sponsored an award series. The awards are given out for a good business plan, i.e. The owners are going to get rich. Of course, they’re getting rich at the expense of suckers who fork over $3,500, not realizing they could do better on their own for free. (Time value of money: Throwing $3,500 down the toilet today when you could apply it to your mortgage now and save about $20k of interest… now that’s time value!) This “award” is no endorsement of what they’re selling. Just like none of the awards received by Enron considered the fact that the company may have been a total fraud.

  9. Chris

    Tracy have you discovered fraud in the case of the MMA? I’d be curious to know. If so I will tell all my friends and family.

  10. Tracy Coenen

    I’ve discovered two things relative to UFF/MMA:

    1. It is not worth $3,500. Consumers can do a better job, spend less time, and save more money WITHOUT the MMA. The do-it-yourself plan provides better results for free.

    2. There is little chance of anyone getting their money back under the UFF “money back guarantee”:


    3. I’ve discovered deception in the promotional materials:

  11. Chris

    Yea…wasn’t sure about that one…seems like it though…I’m an independent so I’m the nicest guy you’ll find.

  12. Craig Hansen

    What the hell do Tracy’s political leanings have to do with UFF? It’s a bad deal for Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, Scientologists, Horticulturalists and Astronauts. Everyone should be offended by this product and its marketing.

    Actually, Scientologists should buy it. And release Katie Holmes.

  13. Chris, “liberal democrat”? Have you read anything else on her blog, or are you just joking around? Tracy makes Ayn Rand look like a commie and is ever further to the right than I am,

  14. Tracy Coenen

    Chris, if you can’t be bothered to read anything else on this site, I can’t be bothered to answer you. It’s clear as day if you take just a few seconds which way I lean politically.

  15. NIK

    the reason it seemed to make sense to me was that the HELOC was available as a safety net. It is hard to make these changes on my own and I am not disiplned enough to put all my extra earnings into a high interest savings and not touch it, nor can I put all my extra earnings toward my mortgage and have nothing to fall back on. While I could just have HELOC for a safety net while I do one of the two things, my behavior did not change and bills (in addition to mortgage) were not being paid down… this gives me a guideline to stick with.

  16. Tracy Coenen

    Nik – If you qualify for a Heloc, you qualify. That means you could get one on your own without paying $3,500 to UFF in addition to the Heloc fees. The Heloc itself does not get you any further ahead financially, but if you want it as a “safety net” you can do that without wasting money on this software.

    And again, you don’t need to pay $3,500 for a “guideline” as you call it. If you want budget help, $99 software will do it for you and then you’ll have your guideline.

  17. NIK, the big danger is that as the credit market contracts, you run the risk of having your HELOC reduced or cut off by the bank. It’s already happening. If that happens to a UFF MMA user who has been washing their monthly expenses through the HELOC then there is a very precise term financial planners use for the situation you end up in: “fucked.”

    Additionally, anyone who has problems with budgeting and impulsive spending would be better served seeing a counsellor at a non-profit debtor consulting agency in their area.

  18. Jen

    I think that you all are WAY to critical of a solution that will HELP so many people. Can’t you see that the majority of people CAN NOT do this on thier own?!

    Why can’t you see that….just look at our economy and where people are financially! It doesn’t make sense that you are fighting this!

  19. Tracy Coenen

    Of course it makes sense. This is not worth $3,500 and people who are bad money managers before wasting $3,500 will be bad money managers after wasting $3,500. Anyone who isn’t capable of doing the math to see how much money they have left over at the end of the month, and then sending that money to the mortgage company ought not have a mortgage to begin with.

    “This” is simply paying more each month on their mortgage. I suspect anyone with a brain CAN do this “on their own.”

    I realize that UFF “agents” have to exclaim that this is necessary and people can’t possibly pay off their mortgages without the software. But that’s a lie.

  20. Tracy…

    Today on CNN they had some of the bank employees interviewed that said the bank operated boiler room operations to push these sub prime loans on people who didn’t really need or want them. Seems like this $3,500 dollar con on people is no different than these bankers operating boiler rooms. Obviously there must be people who find out the truth that they have been taken for the full amount of 3.5 g’s by visiting this page. Denial is not only a river flowing past the pyramid schemes.

  21. Tracy Coenen

    I love it when UFF “agents” claim they have something like a 97% retention rate!!!

    Ha! Retention rates are typically used relative to services that you have to pay for on a periodic basis (like your auto insurance which you renew every six months or every year).

    Retention for UFF? Of course! Once you’ve wasted your $3,500, you’re probably not going to quit using the product! But that’s not really “retention”, is it?

  22. So, upon finding out the real deal, cognitive dissonance takes place.

    For those unfamiliar with what this is and who also may be experiencing it, here is the opening lines from Wiki:

    In psychology, cognitive dissonance is an uncomfortable feeling or stress caused by holding two contradictory ideas simultaneously. The theory of cognitive dissonance proposes that people have a fundamental cognitive drive to reduce this dissonance by modifying an existing belief, or rejecting one of the contradictory ideas.

    Often one of the ideas is a fundamental element of ego, like “I am a good person” or “I made the right decision.” This can result in rationalization when a person is presented with evidence of a bad choice, or in other cases. Prevention of cognitive dissonance may also contribute to confirmation bias or denial of discomforting evidence.

  23. bruce

    Tracy in reading your posts over the past it is very clear you have not done your research,if you have please explain it to everyone.I have been using the software since march and it may be be the 3500.00 that i ever spent.Before i was on the software i paid my mortgage every month just like everyone else no extra, i knew i could pay extra but i did not. Having said that could you do this on your own YES could you get the same result NO there would be to much time and effort involed. If they shut the company down today i would be right back to square one,call me lazy or whatever. The fact of the matter is i’m doing somthing i would not have done without this service. I am not bashisg you in any way,is it for everyone maybe not. I could ride a bike to work and save on gas but i take my car why it’s more efficient same w/the software. It’s a much better use of the time value of money.

  24. Tracy Coenen

    Bruce – You spend far more time using this software and doing the silly money shuffle than you would if you simply made one extra payment to your mortgage each month. (Or even easier, just pay extra with your regular payment, which would take you NO time.)

    Seriously, the fact that someone won’t make that tiny effort until after they’ve wasted $3,500 on UFF says a lot about the person. And none of it is good.

    The software is in no way more efficient. It is far more cumbersome and time consuming, and you save far less money than you could without it.

  25. bruce

    Please explain the software tracy just w/mortage and then with 5 others debts with different terms, adjusting rates,lenght of loan .Btw how about that stock market just think how lucky the people are that own the software they are safe from that mess with 0 risk,uff has changed so many lives for the better it just makes you want to smile from ear to ear. Please explain the software.

  26. Tracy Coenen

    Ooh Bruce. Now this is gonna be tough. You ready?

    All extra cash each month is paid to the debt that has the highest interest rate. When that’s paid off, use extra cash each month to pay the one with the next highest rate. (Warning : This requires you to look at your statement once a month.)

    If you want to be really cool, draw off the Heloc and use the money to pay off any debt with a higher interest rate. Only do this if there is at least a 2 or 3 percentage difference between the rates.

    All this advice FOR FREE.

  27. Tracy Coenen

    As expected, Bruce has informed me via email that I AM WRONG. LOL.

    He doesn’t know how or why, but UFF told him it’s so. My way is wrong. UFF does it better using something called factorial math. But he doesn’t know how that works. I’m just wrong. So there.

    Sorry, Bruce. But what you asked of me only requires the simplest of mathematical calculations, which I did for you. That’s why I think UFF is akin to snake oil… They get uninformed people like you to believe there’s some magic behind it. I don’t know how they convinced you, but I do know that no amount of facts and math will make you believe I’m right.

    Which is why this company is so dangerous. UFF agents are conning people out of $3,500 one at a time based upon some bogus claims about factorial math. Sad.

  28. Ah! The Factorial math! And the claims that “you can’t do this on your own!” “Factorial” if anyone recalls their high school math is simply N!=N*(N-1)*(N-2)….*1. Ok, Joe, slow down. How about 3!=3*2*1 = 6 ?
    If you are making a ham and cheese sandwich w/ tomato there are this many ways to order the items in the sandwich. A choice of one of the three to put down first, then a choice of two, then the last item, so 3*2*1 or 6 ways to make that sandwich. Now, if you had 5 ingredients, the numbers jumps to 120 choices, but logic and personal preference keep us from pondering each of these permutations separately, and across the country every morning, sandwiches are created without much anxiety and surely without software sifting through the math for you.
    In a similar vein, we had a very small wedding, 25 people. 25! results in a number that starts with a 1 and has 25 more digits, (1.5*10^25 for the geeks out there) and yet, my wife and I spent no more than a hour to arrange the seating.
    To Tracy’s point, when one has multiple debts, the analysis involved is less than minimal, it’s trivial. But MMA needed to find more hyperbole to somehow attribute value to a system that simply has none. When you list your debts, which you need to do anyway for MMA, it will take you less time to observe which number is highest, i.e. the debt with the largest rate, to pay back first. Of course (to repeat Tracy’s point) if you set up a HELOC, you can use that to knock off a number of the high debt accounts down to the HELOC rate. Using this process, you’d not touch the mortgage until all other (higher interest) debt is retired.

    If none of this convinces anyone, then ask yourself this; do most of the agents even understand what “factorial math” is? I do, I just explained it to you. I’ve had no few than 6 agents thank me for the explanation, as they now understand their own claims a bit better, and they realize that this one feature is a non-issue. Only those who have no idea what it means cling to the “can’t do it yourself” claims.


  29. It’s startling and disturbing how many people in our society are completely innumerate. It also goes a long way to explain how so many people got roped into mortgages whose terms totally took them by surprise when their rates reset.

  30. Lee…

    It was reported on 60 Minutes that companies holding these bad debts hired technical writers to try to hide these embarrassments in a cloud of technical jargon. People facing the fine print of sub prime loans were exposed to similar situations I am sure. In the “take it or leave it” world of obtaining a loan, might we surmise that even though it is a buyer beware world, the loaner seems to hold the stacked deck.

    It amazes me how people rationalize things like this money merge deal after making bad decisions to buy it once the real facts of the matter are out on the table for all to see. The same thing applies to the 100s of thousands of people who get involved in MLM sham businesses each and every year.

    JoeTaxpayer, thanks for producing another smoking gun on this bad deal. Resistance is futile. Tracy, What a classic!

  31. Tracy Coenen

    What I can’t comprehend is that the single largest purchase of a person’s life (a home) is entered into without a competent understanding of the terms of the mortgage.

  32. bruce

    Floks uff is only going one way UP, Why so bitter because you can do it on your own. If this helps people whats wrong w/ that. Why do people have accountants because they feel they can do a better job and it’s easy to hire someone else to do it, could you do it on your own YES would the result be the same maybe maybe not. Do the agents make alot of money yes but the clients are smiling all the way to financial freedom. Btw does tiger woods have a golf coach . I think we all agree he does not need a coach, then why does he have one the answer is he wants to get most out of his game.I am willing to bet he is paying big bucks for his coach. But why?????????????? He could do this on his own.

  33. Craig Hansen

    Bruce, if you haven’t bothered to read any of the positions against UFF by now, you deserve to get taken.

    For those who do read, beating the MMA is ridiculously simple – just send all extra income to the mortgage each month. That’s it. Any comparisons to Tiger Woods are null and void because Tiger is efficient and looking for slight edges and improvements, and the MMA is inefficient and can’t beat the simplest of game plans as outlined above.

  34. Tracy was so right when she said “Resistance is Futile!”

    People falling prey to these con jobs many times develop “cognitive dissonance” which may or may not resolve the conflict of information. This explains why many people can hold onto erroneous belief in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary. People selling enthusiasm for MLM businesses–for example–use what ever psychological means to encourage a person to believe their opportunity is legitimate and to disregard any evidence to the contrary. Terms like “Fake It Until You Make It” and “The truth doesn’t matter when success is involved” or any number of similar ideas espoused by dream weavers which adherents pay good money for. They are sold on the con continuously.

    Who, after all, wants to admit that they have been snookered out of 35 Franklins?

  35. Jermaine

    I have heard a lot of stuff on this, mostly bashing UFF. Only real thing you guys and girls are saying is. You can do it yourself, make extra payments. Well if is is so simple, why is every american in more debt than they can pay for? Why doesn’t everybody just take your advice and do just what you say, make extra payments? Answer that smarty. MMA is a money management tool it does so much more than just pay off debt. I could see if any of you accually bought the software and used it, then saw that it wasn’t worth it. But you haven’t done that, have you? You are just on the outside looking in. And why don’t you ask the countries who have been using these same concepts that MMA uses for years. (Australia,the UK, New Zealand) See why they have been paying off there mortgages way faster. Any way evey company and every product has negative people that have something to say. NAME ME ONE THAT DOESN’T. All the way from Microsolf, down to the small time insurance company in the middle of now were. If is works, it works! And to all the non-believers good luck paying off all your debts!

  36. Rachel

    No one would want to admit it! But, I can totally see how, if you are mathematically illiterate, (like me) you could fall into it… and it having nothing to do with commitment to work hard, save, budget, and give generously. I am a flower child. Literally. I am a couture florist…very artistic, nonfunctional with money let alone numbers. I wish it was different. I am currently taking courses to improve. In spite of my honest efforts, and advise asking…I am currently being sold to…have not yet bitten. You guys are freaking me out, in a good way. I think you might have just saved me alot of money. The ideas they present prey on my fear and true suckiness with the numbers. UFirst seemed like having my own personal accountant that will help me do all this the best, fastest, smartest way, since I couldn’t do what they do on my own.

  37. Tracy Coenen

    LOL Jermaine – Like I’ve said here before… Anyone who has to flush $3,500 down the toilet before finding themselves capable of sending extra money to their mortgage company (which is all UFF has you do, except with several unnecessary steps in between)… Well, they deserve to be taken!

  38. Tracy Coenen

    Rachel – Simple financial software that will help you with budgeting is all you need. Get Quicken or Microsoft money for about $100 and use their budgeting tool and you’ll be $3,400 richer and equally as capable of paying off your debts. Well, actually you’ll be more capable because you’ll be $3,400 richer.


  39. Rachel –
    It’s hardly that (a personal accountant). First, the agents, almost without exception, are innumerate, they don’t understand anything to do with finance let alone the very system they are peddling. They operate in the gray area of selling a software product but not legally a financial product, so they avoid the need for certain truthful disclaimers.
    Second, they offer no advice on the rest of the financial planning picture. If you work for a company offering a 401(k) with any kind of matching, that would be a better choice to put money before paying off one’s mortgage. In your case, a pretax (traditional IRA) is likely a better choice than prepaying. Likewise, saving in a 529 for a child’s college education may also come before the mortgage prepayment.

    In the end, prepaying is a personal choice, but there’s no magic in it, your money goes to pay extra principal if you make payments higher than the regular amount due. The MMA sellers talk about the financial collapse as a reason to do this. I offer the opposite. Would you rather have a house that you bought for $500K, now worth $250, with a $495K mortgage and $375K in your 401(k) or that same house, but you only owe $250K (and no retirement account?)
    A lot of good all that equity is, if the banks are not lending against it.

  40. Wild Wild West

    I am still waiting for a simple mathematical proof from any supporter of the MMA program demonstrating why this works. I would specifically like to see if the MMA approach pays down the mortgage faster than simply remitting additional payments to your lender.

    If I missed an earlier posting that attempted to provide such proof, please direct me accordingly.

    Yes, I realize that I don’t need to know the electronic and mechanical functions of my car to prove that the car actually works. Nor do I need to know chemistry or pharmacology to prove that aspirin works. However, since I can’t test drive the software (for free!) the only other potentially undeniable proof is math.

  41. Rachel

    Totally cool. Tracy, I’m inspired. I didn’t buy usuc, I mean ufirst, 😉 and am looking at budget software with my man. Some friends of ours are conservative and like the “mvelopes” plan with Crown Financial. Any thoughts?

  42. Tracy Coenen

    I have heard things about Crown Financial, although I have no direct experience with them. I would give the software a 30 day try. I think that’s enough to get a basic feel for it. Then I’d personally sign up for one quarter to give it a little better test before signing up for one of the longer term plans.

    And before the UFF cult members jump on me… Yes, I know there’s a cost to this program and I know she could do it on her own (which is my biggest argument AGAINST UFF.)

    I’d rather see her try this though, than UFF because it’s not a huge upfront cost that will never be recovered AND the cost is reasonable AND she’s not tied into it for longer than she wants to be AND the program doesn’t get her in more debt AND the program doesn’t rely on some nonsensical money shuffle that wastes time and doesn’t save any money. It just makes far more sense.

  43. Craig

    WWW, don’t hold your breath. The agents don’t know how it works, and every time we run a challenge and beat the MMA report by sending the same money directly to the high interest debts first and then the mortgage, instead of filtering it through the pointless HELOC, they’re shocked. Then they retreat behind, “Then why isn’t everybody doing this?” or my favorite, “Shut up it works!”

    To show you why agents don’t know how it works, I can email you instructions for accessing UFF training materials. UFF training materials are great. They include videos, Powerpoint presentations and documents related to marketing the MMA. If you look carefully, you can even find graphs and slides where they gloss over the math. Never is the MMA actualy compared to what a homeowner could do on their own with the same money the MMA uses. They don’t even explain amortization. When a UFF agent meets a homeowner, which of them is more versed in mortgages is a tossup. As the agent has probably already bought, my bet is on the homeowner.

    If you want to take a look at the training site, send a request email to itscraighansen at gmail dot com.

  44. Wild Wild West

    Given the current real estate market, how many homeowners still have sufficient equity or LTV left in their properties to even get an HELOC today? I assume that a HELOC is necessarily required for this purported program to work.

    For those of you who still have good LTVs, be sure to negotiate the margin on your HELOC since it may not be a disclosure item.

  45. W^3 – the truth is out there.
    Look at debtfreeproject’s example
    which offers a year’s MMA in action. Total year end debt = $185,486.95.

    Then see my page which offers month by month transactions and shows a year end balance of $185,208.41, $278.54 less. The agent does *not* account for the fee. That’s ok by me. His own example (from UFF) is all we need to see that prepaying beats the MMA program. For all its ‘sophisticated algorithms’, it doesn’t create any savings at all.

    You want more ?
    UFF offers the full examples, paying the mortgage in 10.4 years (125 months) This one includes the fee.
    The simple spreadsheet or calculator shows a payoff after 122 months.
    What’s missed in the MMA examples is how you need to reference the software for every transaction you make each day, every single purchase is what they suggest. The spreadsheet/calculator approach simply has you pay your extra month end money to the mortgage, saving you the hours per month of effort. Time you can spend as you wish…..

  46. Tracy Coenen

    WWW – UFF was ready for the HELOC problem. You can now use their product with a credit card account. Lord help us all. That’s all we need… more financial illiterates making more use of risky credit cards.

  47. To avoid spammers’ links, this blog doesn’t seem to permit outbound links aside from the ones linked to our names. Please click on my name above, it will take you to a list of links, I refer to Travis Mitchell’s site as well as my own spreadsheet response.

  48. Tracy Coenen

    Not true Joe. You should be able to leave a link. If it’s not working w/ html code, then just put the link by itself and see what happens.

  49. Wild Wild West


    Found your page as well as the link to debtfreeproject. On debtfreeproject, the author is claiming that the mathematics behind the software is subject to intellectual property (“IP”) protection and therefore it’s a secret.

    This may seem like a load of bunk; however, a 1998 patent case, State Bank & Trust Company v. Signature Financial Group, Inc., 149 F.3d 1368 appears to support the patentability of business methods including the mathematical formulas provided they are of some practical application and not just an abstract idea. For you math nuts like me, this has got to be a very interesting read.

    Notwithstanding the IP claim by the author seems a little flawed since a filed patent claim would generally reveal the process that one is trying to protect. If they want to protect the “mathematical algorithms” from inquiring minds like me then they should not publish it by filing a patent because at some point it will be available for viewing. Am I missing something here my IP attorney friends?

    If they reveal the math and it is objectively verified then I will support the promotion of their software provided they reduce the rediculas price!

    What say ye?

  50. W^3 –
    What I say is that in one example MA lags by a couple hundred bucks in just 12 months not taking the fee into account, in the other example, over the full 10.4 years it still take 3 extra months to pay off as compared to simple prepaying. Given the hundreds of hours of attention one must pay to the MMA software over that time, 120+ months, a couple hours a month, it’s really just a waste of one’s time. Even free, the simple prepay methods we advocate are a better result.

  51. al

    How can you people judge a program without even giving the program a trial…. it seems here that there is a lot of people with broken hearts

  52. Tracy Coenen

    Al – The same way that I know cancer and murder are bad. I’ve never had cancer, but I can say definitively that it’s a bad thing. I’ve never been murdered or committed murder, but I’m pretty sure that’s a bad thing too. I don’t have to pay $3,500 to UFF to know that their program is not worth $3,500. I’ve done the research and I have the facts.

  53. Wild Wild West


    The promoters of the program claim that the “secret sauce” of the software is in the underlying mathematics. Fortunately, as a science, mathematics is objectively verifiable. Thus, the promoters are either right or wrong – there’s no in between.

    My point is that the math can be verified without buying the software. So just release the math. What’s the problem?

  54. Tracy Coenen

    LOL – Because as of this moment all agents have plausible deniability. They can pretend they don’t know that DIY works better, is easier, and is cheaper.

  55. ShhShhTheIdiots

    This MMA program is nothing but another way for predatory monsters to separate good people from their money. (Good = Gullible some days…) I realize that most people have difficulty adding extra money to their mortgage each month. After all, we are constantly bombarded with the concept the we “deserve” a big expensive lifestyle. Just look at the “Housewives” franchise on BravoTV. It’s a bragfest on wealth and outrageousness.

    Bruce, you are the classic example of the perfect victim. You won’t do the simple task of making a higher payment each month yourself, so you rely on someone else to tell you to do it AND you’ve paid them to tell you to do it. They aren’t actually taking control of your finances and putting you on a small monthly allowance and making all of your payments for you, right? You should be ashamed that you won’t do this yourself.

    Predatory Con Men are only one part of the equation. The other half is occupied by people who refuse to take control of their own lives and finances. Buy a Suze Orman book for $24.95 and it’ll tell you how to do the same thing that you’ve paid $3,500.00 to know. You can’t get your money back. It’s a legitimate service… FOR LAZY PEOPLE!

    Stand up and educate yourselves people! You can only be manipulated if you’re open to it. Guard your finances like you guard your life!

  56. ShhShhTheIdiots…

    You have presented a hard pill for many to swallow, especially after they’ve been fleeced out of the 35 Franklins. I like the part about the “predatory con men” because that is what most MLM recruiters are. These money management cons just make the irresponsible even more so.

    How many ways there is to describe the utter stupidity of this program, no one really knows? Joetaxpayer has thrown down the gauntlet for sure, and now you pile on with your observations. I’ll bet there are some people out there doing some heavy rationalization on how they could have used the 35 g’s for something truly important? Maybe a class action suit might help stop the madness?

  57. thaichell

    I am glad I read all of this. I am pretty good at math, but have continued to stuggle with the financial discipline and not spending “left over” money. I was recently presented with the MMA system which we can’t afford. We don’t have a mortgage, we just have a lot of debt. Can any of you suggest a software program that is similar to the MMA system that will show us the best way for us?

    I have read Dave Ramsey, Suze Orman, consulted mortgage advisors, and even a financial planner. All have conflicting opinions. If you have extra money, should you pay more towards debt with higher interest, highest cashflow output, or smallest balance? All three have their benefits and will save you money, but for the undisciplined, it’s not a simple answer. Overall you will save money with paying the highest interest, however, that may take a while before you feel the effects of what you are doing. Paying the one with the highest cashflow output will free up more of your monthly budget, and make life easier. Paying the smallest balance will make you feel better, kind of like setting small goals.

    I haven’t seen the MMA software for our situation, but it seems to have the answer. Is there another software that is cheaper that can also show us the answer, but will also take in to account the “human” aspect?

  58. Tracy Coenen

    I have the perfect system for you: Paper and pencil.

    The way that will save you the most money is by paying extra toward the debt with the highest interest rate. Yes, the others have other ways that they teach because they feel they are easier or help motivate the consumer more. I’m all about paying as little as possible, so this way is the best.

    Every month, pay the minimum on all cards. Use the rest of the cash you have earmarked for debt (which is hopefully just about everything you have left after paying the required bills) and pay it toward the debt with the highest interest rate. Use the paper and pencil to list all your debts and rates for yourself so it’s easy to see.

    Next month, do the exact same thing. No software purchase is necessary.

    If you want to use a software package to help budget, I’d suggest Quicken. They’re now even offering their online version completely FREE.

  59. Call each CC lender. Tell them you have a transfer offer for zero interest for a year with another bank, and that you’d rather stick with them if they’ll lower your rate to something more reasonable. This can’t hurt and will only cost you the dime for the call. Odds are, it will work. As Tracy said, pencil and paper, there’s no magic involved. Balance * interest rate = monthly interest accrued. $1000 paid toward the 18% card saves you $15/mo, vs throwing it at a lower rate card that may have a lower balance, that approach is just stupid, in my humble opinion.

  60. Brad

    Subject: what I would put on the website

    For twenty years I’ve been originating Government loans and have always told people to pay extra on their home mortgage. Doing this would save them thousands of dollars in interest. “Just making one extra payment per year will take 7 to 8 years off the term of your loan”. After twenty years and thousands of customers, I’ve never met ONE customer that ever did this on a consistent basis. What stops them from doing such an easy task? Before I answer this question let me tell you about myself. I’ve owned a mortgage company for 16 years. I’ve dealt with first time homeowners and people in their late 80’s looking for additional income through a Reverse mortgage. I hear peoples’ life stories every day. The last two years have been the worst years in the mortgage industry since the 18% interest in the 1980’s. I am proud to say, my company DOES NOT HAVE ONE LOAN IN FORECLOSURE!!! NOT ONE HOME OWNER HAS BEEN LATE ON THEIR MORTGAGE! Now let me tell you why people never pay extra on their home loan. My friends, LIFE HAPPENS, the kids need this, my spouse wants that, vacation, new flat screen TV, LIFE IN GENERAL. If I pay extra, that money has just come right out of my pocket!

    That having been said, I would like to ask you a question: What is your equity doing for you? What is your equity doing?!! Your equity is sitting there waiting for you to sell your home so you can put it into your next house, or you’re using it to pay off consumer debt. I put my equity to WORK, by using the MMA program. Did you know that 99% of homeowners’ know that they can pay extra toward their mortgage? Did you know only 1% of homeowners will ever do this? Maybe you can pay extra on your mortgage sometimes. That’s great! Congratulations! But most people need help and that’s what the MMA Program offers homeowners. It’s an easy way to use your equity to payoff an amortized loan.

    On January 1st of a New Year most people will say ” I’d like to lose a few pounds”, so they join the YMCA and start working out. This may last a week or so then they stop. Others may hire a personal trainer and stay with a workout routine to reach their goal. MMA program is a personal trainer to help you payoff your largest debt, which is your mortgage! The program tells you the exact amount to pay and when to pay it. You actually skip years off your loan. Can you do this on your own? YES!!! But will you? In 24 months under the MMA program I’ve moved up 106 house payments on my amortization schedule. That’s a saving of $295,210.00 in house payments I will never have to pay. Could I have done this on my own? Maybe. Would I? Statistics say, no. The bottom line is the program pays for itself in the payments I no longer have to make.

    Paying off your mortgage should be one of your top priorities. Paying off your home loan will change your life. It will change your retirement. For me, in six years with MMA I will do just that! With the MMA program I know what date I will accomplish this task. When I made my 11/01/2008 house payment I knew that payment was being applied as my 09/01/2017 payment on my amortization schedule. I moved up 9 years on my amortization schedule.

    I don’t know why you feel so negative about the MMA program. What I do know is that its right for me. This program just helps people to become mortgage free much faster. Take this challenge for six months and try to do this on your own. Be honest with yourself. See if life get’s in your way.
    With the MMA program it’s never been easier to payoff your mortgage…… You have nothing to lose but the interest you pay on your mortgage.


  61. Tracy Coenen

    Categorize Brad’s comment under “Lies Told By UFF Agents.”

    Brad decries paying down a mortgage to get equity, and then suggests that homeowners do just that with the Money Merge program. He says that UFF helps consumers “Put that equity to work for them.”

    No it doesn’t. It does nothing different than simple prepayment of the mortgage without paying $3,500 for access to the software.

    He claims that someone UFF is the key to homeowners actually making prepayments on mortgages, when they could have done that all alone for free. There is no magic to UFF and it doesn’t “put your equity to work for you.” It does the exact same thing as simple prepayment, but at a higher cost and with a lot of time wasted.

  62. Brad – you regurgitated the same odd analogies your peers offer.
    The gym example is precisely why the motivational side of MMA is bunk. The discipline required to add a bit of principal to each month’s mortgage payment is a fraction of the effort required by the constant attention (one agent suggests you text message MMA from the supermarket to determine if it’s the right time to buy steak) the program requires.

    We are so negative because of the combination of exaggerated (all are easily documented) claims, and fact that use of MMA lags the results of simple prepayments. I’ve turned more negative as I become aware of banks freezing HELOCs and the one chance for MMA to recover a bit of its own cost goes away. I’m sure more stories will surface about the economic lives destroyed by the cancelled HELOCs and the results of MMA customers needing to borrow money at 28% on credit cards for those “life happens” moments such as a failed transmission or unexpected need for kid’s braces. How do you propose that clients pay for these things once they’ve directed all their savings to their mortgage and thanked MMA for directing them to do so, once their HELOCs are frozen? This question is not rhetorical – please answer, and be specific.
    Joe (who is now inspired for another post in my ongoing series)

  63. Craig


    I paid extra towards my mortgage. Every month. I set it up an automatic extra payment with my bank. My mortgage acceleration was truly on “autopilot”. All I had to do was monitor my bank balance to make sure I wasn’t overextending myself. If I was, I could ask the bank not to make the extra payment that month.

    It was ridiculously easy. Now I’m mortgage-free, and I didn’t have to send $3500 to anyone to buy inefficient, time-wasting software.

    So now you know someone who paid extra on a consistent basis. I’m sure I’m not the only one you know, either. All the ones who shake their heads after hearing your sales pitch, for example.

  64. Dennis


    This is just one persons opinion. Someone recently said i’ll just pay an extra $250 a month and do the same thing as the software program would do. So he ran an analysis and saw that he would pay the mortgage only off in 19+ years. When he had the analysis ran he saw he could pontentionaly pay off the house and the car and the credit cards in 9+ yrs. So you are correct you can do this yourself. I tell everyone i speak to that they can come close with doing it themselves. If they miss by 3 or 4 years and need to make the extra payments that is a choice they need to make.

  65. Tracy Coenen

    Dennis – Simple prepayment beats UFF every single time. I know for a fact that the UFF analysis did NOT just use $250 a month prepayment if it came up with a shorter repayment period than the do it yourself. Another agent and customer fooled by UFF.

  66. Craig Hansen


    As always, you’re welcome to actually prove what you are saying. Give us the MMA report. We’ll use the same debts, income and expenses, and with one brutally simple subtraction calc each month, we’ll beat the MMA. Every single time.

    Don’t believe me? Post the analysis and let’s compare.

  67. This particular service scam succeeds because people are persuaded to join before they’ve had sufficient time to discover the truth. By the time a person learns the facts, the damage has already been done. This explains why there have been so many people who have left insane comments which support their bad decision to buy into this service scheme–even when the details of their deception have been so sufficiently examined, revealed and described.

    All MLM schemes seek to ‘invert reality’ in a similar fashion. They want to make their particular ‘financial holocaust’ on distributors seem like the greatest ‘financial opportunity’. They seek to make silk purses out of sows ears in the minds of what P.T. Barnum described as the ‘fools born every day’. People wise enough to not fall prey to the Nigerian check scam many times fall victim to what they perceive as legitimate, but which in the end turn out to be just as perniciously stupid.

    Ufirst Money Merge has been utterly debunked. Folks still pushing this scheme, knowing the truth, ultimately are criminally seeking to defraud consumers through deception. Seems to me that there are people known as Attorney Generals who need to step in and examine this situation.

  68. Dennis –
    The difference is what you show, 9yrs vs 19yrs, is simple. Agents rarely, if ever, wish to compare apples to apples.
    I asked an agent to show me how the “HELOC shuffle” would work using the classic numbers ($5K/mo net, $200K, 6% mort) but with no extra $1000.
    The first reply assumed $2500 every two weeks, which produces $5000 extra each year, she also added $100 “that I’d find somewhere”.
    I’ll cut to the chase – it took a number of emails just to get her to input the correct numbers, and then the savings evaporated.
    Your example assumes monthly card payments, which can run as high as 5% of balance. So $500 paid each month toward a $10,000 CC balance magically morphs into the ability to leverage that $500 by taking a $10,000 HELOC loan, paying off the cards, and now having $500/mo to put towards the system. If you wish to have the level headed, calm, numbers based conversation many of us seek, please run the numbers without assuming any credit card debt. Of course, if you feel that the simple advice that one should refinance 24% CC debt to a lower, perhaps 4-6% HELOC rate, is worth $3500, then you have a great target market.
    As Craig requests, post the numbers, and we can talk.

  69. Robert

    I’ve been using the MMA software for just a little while now. So far, my savings are just under $35K, or $31,5 if you want to subtract the software costs. I’m sorry, Tracy, that you think I’ve done a horrible thing by saving $31,5 to-date. Was it expensive software? Of course. For me, it was an investment. I don’t hear any of you claiming that it doesn’t work. I only hear you people complaining that it can be done yourself without spending $3,500 up front. Well, that’s great, if you know how to do yourself and you’re willing to do so.

    I dropped almost a grand getting some water damanage fixed on my house. I could’ve done it myself, of course, for probably half the price. I would just need to learn how to do it, and get around to do doing it. But I’ll be honest with myself and claim that it wouldn’t have gotten done.

    I’m pretty financially illiterate as well and I don’t have the motivation to figure it out and do it myself. Call me an idiot, I could care less. I’m an idiot that’s saved a ton of money so far using a method that fits the type of person I am.

    I think the problem here is that those of you who think of this software as the devil… those of you understand how it works, are willing to do it yourself, and therefore have no need for it… well you’re not part of the target audience for this software. It doesn’t mean everyone is like you.

    My wife just dropped $45 on workout software. At first I thought it was a bit silly, being as though I could’ve shown her how to manage her fitness lifestyle and get maximum results for free (fitness is more my forte, not finances). But then I started to realize that it wasn’t a bad idea at all. She’s not a know-it-all, like me, when it comes to fitness. And I’m not like all of you when it comes to finances. She now has workout routine and a level of excitment that matches my own. She needed the software to get those results. I didn’t. I’m certainly not going to be claiming the program was a scam, waste of money, and a truly horrible thing because it wasn’t for me!

    There’s really nothing that has been said so far by anyone here or anything that can be said that has made my decision of saving $31,5 after a few months anything but a great thing for me. I’ll admit that MMA doesn’t really save you money. No software or program can do that by itself. It simply “helps” you. If you need/want the help, then it’s an option. If you don’t need the help, then you don’t need MMA it’s that simple.

    But UFF is still a business out to make a profit, just like other bussiness out there that you trust. They’re not going to know who will benefit from it and who wouldn’t. Therefore, they must go on the assumption that everyone will. Then it’s up to you to determine if it’s something worth looking into.

  70. Tracy Coenen

    Robert – You’ve fallen for the MMA sales pitch hook, line, and sinker. There’s really nothing to “figure out” to do mortgage reduction on your own. Have extra cash each month? Send it to your mortgage (or if you have another debt with a higher interest rate and you’re trying to reduce all your debt, send the extra cash to that).

    I suspect you’ve not read much here, because if you had, you’d understand that this MMA isn’t the same thing as hiring a professional to fix damage to your house. In that case, you’re hiring someone with more knowledge and capabilities than you, and it makes sense. In the case of MMA, you’re doing something akin to hiring a 5 year old to fix your house. The MMA is inefficient and inexpensive.

    It is not “an investment.” If you have truly reduced your debt by $31,500 since starting with MMA… then you should know that you’d have reduced it by more than $35,000 if you had done a simple prepayment plan without the software.

    What you’ve done is flushed $3,500 down the toilet on a product that puts you further behind on paying down your debts than if you’d have followed our simple advice, which takes less than 1 minute per month to follow. You need no special knowledge or skills to do our “do it yourself” method. All you need is an ability to write a check, and the ability to figure out if 10 is more than 6. If you are able to know which of those numbers is bigger, you also know where to write that extra check to each month. One minute. Bigger savings. Less time.

  71. Robert

    No, you’re the one who doesn’t understand. If I wouldn’t have signed up, I wouldn’t have done what you say I should have. ’cause I don’t freakin know what to do. How much extra should I pay? Hells if I know. If I drop another 2 grand on my mortgage, what will that do for me? Hells if I know. Sure, you would know… you could figure out. Me? I don’t really care. Would I have saved more if I hadn’t used MMA. You would have. I wouldn’t have, ’cause I wouldn’t have done a thing other than continue to pay the regular payments. That’s what you can’t get through your head. I don’t care about the math involved. I don’t care how easy it is to do myself. I don’t care that I spent 3500… ’cause I’ve saved 31500 in a few months! Do you even understand what that means? I SAVED 31500!!!! And you think I’m an idiot. Good think I didn’t come to you for financial advice 🙂

    So, if falling for the sale pitch meant spending 3500 and saving 31500, then I’m sure glad I fell for the sales pich!!! ’cause you wouldn’t see me out doing that on my own.

    In fact, if I had listened to someone like you, when it was all said and done, I would have ended up spending $500K on my $350K loft.

  72. “I’ve been using the MMA software for just a little while now. So far, my savings are just under $35K or $31,5 if you want to subtract the software costs.”

    Let’s stay away from the analogies, and stick to numbers. At 6%, money doubles in 12 yrs, 4X in 24 years, and about 5X in 30 years. So I am going to guess that you threw about $6K-$7K into the program to ‘save’ the $30K at the end. If you put the $3500 in as well, you’d have ‘saved’ $45K. MMA does not cost $3500, it costs $15K-$20K.
    I use ‘saved’ not to be cute, but because this is simple time value of money. What MMA agents excel at is the take the very first transaction, which is typically to take nearly all of one’s emergency funds/savings, and throw it at the mortgage (stopping in the HELOC to add a bit of smoke) claiming a ‘savings’ of 4-5X that number. Well, it was your money, and as Tracy has been suggesting, you could have done this on your own, not spent $3500 to have a piece of software tell you this.

  73. Robert

    You keep saying stuff like “you could have done this on your own”. But, I wouldnt’ have. Let me repeat, I wouldn’t have. Is that clear now? So please answer this, if someone would NOT have done this on their own, would MMA be worth it?

  74. Ok, I understand. Really, I do. You are so insecure, so innumerate, that you are convinced that you are unable to add or multiply.

    I, on the other hand, know that if you take all your extra money at the end of each month and send it to principle, that each year, as a late Christmas present, the bank will send you a progress report, your current balance. MMA does a great job showing you exactly where you are, the day it predicts your mortgage will end. With MMA, you will end 3-6 months later than you would on your own, but in your case, the simplest of mortgage calculators or spreadsheets seems beyond your interest. That’s ok, I’ve seen people valet park for $12 when the regular lot was 20 feet away, and the valet wouldn’t do anything different. In your case, you spent $3500, maybe $15,000 with interest because you feel the math is beyond you. I am big on “teach a man to fish” as a reasonable rate, than to sell him overpriced fish for 10 years. Ooops I broke my own analogy rule, sorry. I find no one is as dumb as they think. (read that as a complement, not an insult).

  75. Tracy Coenen

    Okay. That clears it up. Robert is paying what Dave Ramsey calls a STUPID TAX. He admits he is too dumb to follow one simple piece of advice that will take him 1 minute a month to follow, and which he needs very little IQ to follow. He would rather lose that quick $15,000 to $20,000 that Joe calculated because he’d rather be stupid and waste a lot of time goofing around with the MMA software in the process.

  76. Robert

    But you still didn’t really answer my question. If I’m not willing to do it on my own, would I be better off with MMA or just continuing to pay the regular monthly payments?

    You don’t really have to answer that question, ’cause I know it’s a silly question and I know what your answer would be yes.

    So, to put it into perspective, the majority of homeowners do the same thing. Pay the monthly minimum payment. With that being said, the majority of homeowners would benefit from MMA. Would MMA be the very best solution for the majority of homeowners? or even a single home owner? From what you all have discussed, I’m convinced that the answer is no. However, I’m don’t really care about the very best solution. All I’m really talking about is the fact that the MMA program will most likely save a person more money in the end compared to just paying the minimum monthly payments. And you have to realize that that’s what the majoriy of homeowners do. Not neccessarily because they don’t know any better (although that’s probably true for many), and not because they don’t all know how to do it on their own. We could give 100s of reasons ranging from laziness to redardation. But it doesn’t matter because it’s just the way it is. Period. I don’t really know how to put it any other way without getting another response including “well if you do it on your own, blah, blah”.

    So, if it does the same thing that others do on their own, and therefore it saves money, amounts beyond the purchase price, then it does a good thing. I don’t care if doesn’t save as much as if you [Insert any other method here], if it saves you money, it saves you money. So I can’t understand how it can be labeled as fraudulent, or a scam.

    And let’s be honest, who are the people flocking to this software? People like yourself who undestand how to do it your own and/or are willing to do so? My best guess is no. So that leaves us with everyone else who doesn’t understand or.. maybe they understand but are not responsible enough on their own, or maybe, just maybe MMA has a few really cool features that they love. Whatever. They save money in the end, that’s why they purchased it.

  77. Tracy Coenen

    Robert – Your question is so stupid, that I can’t answer it. You’re saying you have two options… One that is free and takes one minute a month, and the other that costs you tens of thousands of dollars and a few hours a month. And you want to know if you should do the other??? OF COURSE NOT. You are choosing to waste thousands of dollars because you can’t bring yourself to spend one minute a month not wasting thousands of dollars? IDIOTIC.

    And no one is “flocking” to the software.

  78. Robert

    Tracy, you’re exactly right. I don’t want to spend the one minute a month. And yes, I’d rather lose the 15-20K in order to end up wiht a much larget net gain…. rather than paying an extra 200K on my mortgage in the long run. Yup, pretty stupid, I admit it!

  79. Robert

    Of couse you can’t answer the question, because your personality won’t let you admit that I’ve saved money using MMA that I woudn’t have saved had I continued to pay my monthly minimum. No matter how true it is, or how obvious it is, you probably could never agree to that, could you? You’re the type of person that, when cornered like this, you just start throwing out insults. I applaud you, Tracy.

  80. Tracy Coenen

    Well there you have it. UFF customers are happy to part with $20k thanks to this expensive, inefficient, cumbersome software. This man is proud of wasting $20k.

  81. Robert

    Oh, an that 3500 that I spent on it… you know what that would’ve went to intead? I was planning on purchaseing a 52″ sony bravia 120mhz TV. But I didn’t. Instead I used it on this software. So I wouldn’t have put it to my mortgage anyway. Instead I spent it on something that gave me the drive and motivation save me quite a bit of money. So by not listening to someone like you, I won… big time 🙂

  82. Robert

    Funny how you keep talking about how much is spent, yet you won’t dare talk about how much is saved. wonder why.

  83. Tracy Coenen

    Robert – You see that you are saying your only two choices are wasting $20k and several hours a month, or just paying the minimum on all bills. Yet there’s the third option, which is to spend one minute a month (which is far less than you’re spending on the UFF software) to save $20k or more than you will with UFF. You refuse to consider that third option is viable, even though it is the most reasonable, rational, and economical.

    The only way to sell UFF/MMA to anyone is to completely defy all logic and common sense. Or to lie, which UFF agents are good at.

  84. Tracy Coenen

    Robert – We get it. You want to waste $20k. The only way you could possibly even consider paying extra money toward your mortgage is by throwing away $3,500 today and $20,0000 in the long run.

    The choice is simple. You could save $0 or $50,000 or $70,000. To you, the clear choice is $50,000. There is no other way. In my world, $70,000 is more than $50,000 and there is no excuse for not spending less to save more. One minute a month to save $70,000, or several hours a month to save only $50,000. Simple choice. I’ll save the $70,000.

    Thanks for your participation. Enjoy your software. (Unless the company goes under and you can’t access the software anymore.)

  85. Robert

    no, no. You’ve misunderstood me. Not sure why, ’cause I feel like I’ve repeated this numrous of times. I don’t refuse to consider the 3rd option at all. I’m simply here to tell you, that yes, I’m irresponsible, and not likely to choose the 3rd option. Not because I don’t understand it’s the best, rather, I’m just irresponsible. Or in your words, an idiot. Whichever. However, so is the majority of the rest of the country.

    The problem is, you refuse to consider that option 2, (MMA), would also save me money. Not as much as option 3, but certainly more than option 1 (minumum payments). And since I, and most everyone else are irresponsible idiots for option 3, you refuse to admit that option 2 is much better.

  86. Robert

    Ok, now I feel like you understand what I’m getting at. Yes, I’m ok with saving just 50K, instead of 70K. Don’t get me wrong, I’d definatly prefer that extra 70K in my pocket. But I also know myself very well, and therefore am fine with $50K instead of $0.

    As long as you can say that I would be making a NET GAIN, then that’s all I wanted to hear.

    A scam is not a scam, if it helps you net extra money… whether it’s $2 or $50K

  87. “Oh, and that 3500 that I spent on it… you know what that would’ve went to instead? I was planning on purchasing a 52? sony bravia 120mhz TV.”

    Funny, that’s the TV I got a couple months back, the W series, $2000 at the time (down to $1800 now).
    With 10 or so years to go on my mortgage, I can be a miser, and look at every simple pleasure as another month, week, day, on my mortgage, or I can say thank you to my older self for buying me the big TV. One’s entire life should not be based on mortgage elimination. It’s a worthy goal, but not to the exclusion of every thing else.

  88. Tracy Coenen

    You know, I just have a fundamental problem with a line of reasoning that goes like this: “I’ll pay the minimum on all my debts unless I can flush $3,500 down the toilet for the opportunity to waste tons of time to pay more than the minimum on my debts.”

  89. Craig Hansen

    Option #1 – Pay only the regular mortgage payments
    Net Savings: $0
    Time spent per month: 0 minutes (baseline)

    Option #2 – Buy the MMA
    Net Savings: $50,000
    Time spent per month: 30 minutes?

    Option #1 – Extra payments
    Net Savings: $70,000
    Time spent per month: 1 minute

    File this one under “No Brainer”.

  90. Robert

    Tracy, you have a fundamental problem with a lot of things, such as understanding that a deal doesn’t have to be THE BEST deal in order to still be considered a good deal. You act like, if the person isn’t going about the very best way of saving money, then their method is crap, fradulent, and a scam, and a waste of time. The fact is, there’s probably 100s of things a person can do throughout the normal day to save a little money here and there, that they don’t do them. As well as 100s of different decisions they could made differently in a day that they didn’t do. And I guarantee you’re guilty of many of these just as every single person in the world.

    I’m just curious, do you feel scammed everytime you go to a restaurant, because you’re paying a higher price for having someone serve you… when you could cleaned off the table yourself, go to the kitchen to bring your food back yourself when it was ready, and dispose of all the items afterwards yourself? Are you writing blog entries about how everyone’s an idiot for paying for someone else to do something they could’ve themselves?

    And if all this stuff takes no time to do it yourselves, let’s say I wanted to know things like interest remaining, payoff date, years to payoff, all my monthly expenses, etc. But then I wanted to know how all that changes when I buy my new TV, and then again when I decide to do some closet remodeling, and then after I go out to eat, and virtually anytime any transaction of any kind was made. And then look at all assumed transactions for the next three months, fiddle with the numbers to see what effect that would have on everything overall. Maybe I want to switch gears, and instead of focusing on my 1st mortgate, I want to instead put more emphasis on my much smaller but higher 8% interest 2nd mortgage. Would that save me more money in long term? Depends on many things. And then in a few months, I want to go on vacation, so need to save up a little, but in order to do that I need to be a little less aggressive for on the mortgage for a bit. How much less aggressive? And what all will that change?

    I could go on and on all day with ‘what if’ scenarios that I’m not about to spend all day on the kitchen table calculating all this stuff out. And that’s why I don’t.

    So, if you’re willing to prove to me that you methods take no time, then here’s how you can do it. I’ll give you whatever numbers you need, and give you several example scenarios, and you can show me just how fast you can come with the answers, verses me plugging those numbers into MMA and hitting submit. Otherwise, I’d have to say that you’re the one that’s lieing and scamming people.

  91. Tracy Coenen

    I’m supposed to believe that the idiot who says he won’t just mail one extra check a month to his mortgage (for free!) is interested in how his payoff date changes if he buys a new TV? Not likely!

    But here’s a hint for you: If you buy the TV instead of putting the money toward your mortgage, it will take you longer to pay off your mortgage.

    Do I think you really care? Of course not.

    Here’s the bottom line: You can pay off your mortgage faster and with less time and effort WITHOUT United First Financial. Feel free to email me the analysis that UFF did for you. One of our readers will take the exact same numbers and run the DIY method for you, which will take him about 14 seconds to do. The proof will be in the numbers. Faster. Easier. Cheaper.

    And again, using the MMA (versus DIY) isn’t the same as eating at a restaurant (versus DIY). With MMA you are paying money to be inconvenienced and have your time wasted. With the restaurant, it’s the exact opposite. You’re paying to put forth less effort and time for a meal.

    I don’t think we can help you, though. If you’re not willing to apply logic and reason to any of this, so I suspect this discussion is now over.

    P.S. Paying extra money toward a debt with a higher interest rate (instead of one with a lower interest rate) ALWAYS saves you money. No need for MMA to get that answer.

  92. Craig Hansen


    Stop trying to make accelerating debt repayment look difficult. It isn’t.

    Whether you have the MMA or not, you are still doing all the work. You pay the bills. You pay the mortgage.

    In the case of the MMA, you also log into that site or software, and enter your new financial information. If the MMA recommends a transfer from the HELOC to the mortgage, you then have to go and do that transfer yourself.

    In the case of DIY, you take your remaining bank balance, subtract a contingency, and send that to the mortgage.

    Or, if multiple debts are involved, you send the remainder toward the debt with the highest interest rate.

    That’s it. As an example, say a $1725 balance, and you want a $1000 contingency. Guess what? Sent $725 extra to your mortgage.

    And that will beat your precious MMA. Every time.

    Want to track it? Any number of mortgage calculators and spreadsheets will do fine. Vertex42 dot com has a good spreadsheet template.

    Send over your sample numbers. I don’t seem to tire of these comparisons.

  93. Robert

    Wait a minute. Are you under the impression that I paid 3500 just so I can click a button and have a check sent to my lender? LOL. Oh my gosh, if that were the truth, then everything you’ve said so far has been completely true, and I’ll eat crow.

    So, how familiar with this product are you? Can you give me a rundown of everything it does? Because, you are aware that it’s more than writing a check to heloc or bank, right? Every scenario I gave you before, I can give you the answers to all that in just a click of a button. And taht’s just a small fraction everything this software will do.

    And yes, I am interested in what buying a tv will do. Because before, the only calculated result I would’ve done on my own is subtracting the cost from my checking account to see what’s left. Now I can see how much it’d reduce my total interest left, or how much an effect it would be if I waited 2 months instead, down to the cent. Now that I can click a button and know that and an unimited number of other stuff instantly, then sure I’m interested.

    So we do agree on one thing, I sure as hell don’t need to pay 3500 for someone to tell me to send extra money to my mortgage. I’ve been told that all my life, for free, and still wasn’t doing it on my own. But I have a feeling that you don’t even have the slightest clue what all the mma software can do. I don’t even know what half the stuff in there is yet, I’m still learning more about it all the time. When I logged in a few weeks ago, it was already updated with some new stuff that I haven’t really investigated yet.

    So then, to determine the value of this software on a user by user basis, I guess teh user would have to evaluate each feature bullet point (which is a pretty long bulleted list), and determine the value of each. I won’t even include free updates, versions, and 24hr customer support for life. And then factor in the amount of money it’d help me save and maybe even factor in the drive and motivation that it adds.

    But seriously, if you don’t even know what all the software does, it’s a bit fradulent of you to be taking a stance on it, isn’t it? Nevertheless, since you claim you can everything the software does in 1 minute, on your own, then yes… let’s definately do this.

  94. “Maybe I want to switch gears, and instead of focusing on my 1st mortgage, I want to instead put more emphasis on my much smaller but higher 8% interest 2nd mortgage.”

    Why would one pay an extra cent toward their first mortgage while they have a higher rate second note?

    Robert, even though you’re already in the program, I will offer you the secret which requires little effort let alone the daily monitoring of every penny going in and out:
    Line up all your debt according to after tax interest rate. Make all minimum payments each month, and send any extra money you have to the highest rate debt. That’s it.
    To an outsider, it’s clear that an agent has brainwashed you, you believe that something which takes seconds each month (the decision how much to add to your mortgage payment) is somehow so complex as to be humanly impossible. I am anxiously waiting for your praise of “factorial math”, the MMA process by which it take a computer to consider 3 billion ways to line up 10 debts to decide which is larger and which smaller. This is a math concept most 4 year olds have already mastered, yet the agents have likely convinced you that you cannot do it on your own.
    Do you need a computer to balance your checkbook?

  95. Tracy Coenen

    No, Robert, I didn’t say that the software sends a check. Yes, Robert, I’m aware of all the calculations that the software does.

    Except what you don’t seem to understand is that all those calculations are irrelevant. MMA is promoting the idea that it uses “factorial math” to figure out how to manage your debts. The problem is that no consumer needs to use factorial math to manage their debts, so that’s useless.

    Read about factorial math in this post by Craig:

    As for purchasing the television, yes, the do-it-yourself method can tell you how your mortgage payoff is affected by purchasing the TV. All you do is remove the cost of the TV from the mortgage payments you were going to make in your free and efficient spreadsheet or amortization schedule.Voila! You will see your payoff date change.

    Again, I go back to the concept that you couldn’t be bothered to write one extra check a month without the MMA software, so I can’t imagine you being interested in running 100 different scenarios with the TV.

    And as for the factorial math… As you saw in Craig’s article, the factorial math doesn’t matter. There is ONE right way to pay off your debts at any given time, and it doesn’t require any fancy math. All it requires is that you look at your list of debts and send your extra money to the one with the highest interest rate. Yes, it’s really that simple.

    So thanks again, Robert, for your participation. I really couldn’t make up material as interesting and ridiculous as what you post. We enjoy having you here!

  96. Jane Blu

    I found your articles and thread as I am looking for additional information about UFF.

    I am not an agent, nor do I own the software- However, it did spark my interest because I’ve encountered alot of people who are excited and feel empowered by this program. So, being an inquisitive mind…I thought I’d check it out. I have to say that I can see where Robert is coming from. It seems that he was overwhelmed by his financial situation and now feels empowered and in control of what is money and can look at it every day on his software – that can be empowering.

    I am a professional hair color specialist – people pay me over $300 every 6-8 weeks to come in and make them look beautiful. Could they do if for less..probably, do it themselves…absolutely! But what I do for $300 every visit is empower them with a service that gives them the confidence. It seems that this is what the program does for people who feel out of control, and they are willing to pay for it.

    As a professional in my field, as you are – Tracy & Craig in your field, it really is easy to find all the things wrong with someone else doing what I could have better – and it really sucks when they figure out a way to charge for it and get the money they’re asking for. Does it make it a scam – I don’t think so. Is it fraud – I’ve found too many people that are ecstatic about it (so I don’t think it’s a scam), will the company go out of business…who thought banks would fold?? I think we are at a place in the economy that people are looking for some empowerment and light at the debt. Seems like UFF figured out a way to charge for a service that you could only talk about in blogs, on CNN and random websites…certainly not charge $3500 or whatever they’re asking. People are willing to pay that much to be empowered – because Hope Sells.

    Happy Holidays!

  97. Tracy Coenen

    Jane – You illustrate a common misconception about the UFF product. Paying for the Money Merge Account is NOT like paying you $300 to get her hair colored. It’s like paying a 5-year-old $300 to color her hair. The MMA provides poor results with a cumbersome, time-consuming process. How can anyone who can’t even by bothered to TRY the least bit on their own, be motivated to spend several hours a month with this product? The money spent on UFF doesn’t give the consumer a BETTER way to deal with their finances, unfortunately.

  98. Craig Hansen

    I disagree with Tracy. Tracy says it’s like paying a 5-year-old to colour your hair. I say 4-year-old.

    Point is, you’re not getting a professional product or service here. You’re getting a needlessly dangerous and inefficient product that does (or makes you do) some really stupid things that no mortgage professional in their right mind would have you do.

    Borrow from a LOC in pursuit of an accelerated mortgage payoff? That’s plain stupidity.

  99. This is the disclaimer on every agent site:
    “United First Financial, its independent agents and subsidiaries provide Web-based software and support services. United First Financial does not provide accounting, tax, legal, real estate, mortgage, or investment advice.”
    Jane, would you have the nerve to charge your $300, but issue a disclaimer that you actually are not a professional in your field, and your only credential is that you paid a $175 fee to hang a shingle?
    If all of the discussion on the many blogs is not enough to heve you question the validity of this product, perhaps the fact that the very people selling you mortgage advice *do not provide* mortgage advice. Huh?

  100. Paul

    I like the product, use the product and think it’s worth the $3500 price tag. I’ve read most of your posts and I don’t have the time or the desire to argue with you. You really don’t understand the product or how it changes one’s behavior. You’ve also shown you don’t understand the psychological impact it has on the user of the system. There’s something to be said about knowing exactly when you’ll be out of debt; no matter how much your life changes. I know I can make extra payments on my own to get out of debt faster, but what I don’t know is how to manage my cash flow so that less money is paid to interest and more to principal. For example; I didn’t realize that by increasing my income by $200 per month and reducing my living expenses by $150 per month would allow me to cancel (not pay) $100,000 in interest over the next 7 years. This system allows me to stay on track and my goal (pay off date) is always looking right at me; I love the visual representation it gives! My wife just took a pay cut of $200 per month and this is going to push our pay off date out 2 years. This has motivated us to make up that income somewhere else so we can get on the original track we were on. We wouldn’t have undestood the impact of this without the MMA. It’s a wonderful tool and well worth the money!

  101. Tracy Coenen

    Ah yes, the old “you just don’t understand” excuse. All that UFF agents have left in their arsenal is saying I’m wrong but not pointing out exactly how that is. Why? Because I’m not wrong. The product is expensive, inefficient, and time consuming. It costs the user far more than $3,500, not just in hard costs, but also in unnecessary risks that the software and UFF direct consumers to take.

    Now you’re seriously telling us that you DID NOT KNOW that if you paid more each month to your mortgage, you’d pay it off faster and pay less interest? (Should I bother to mention to all my readers that you, Paul, work for a mortgage broker? LOL)

    And the truth isn’t that you “wouldn’t have understood the impact” without MMA. The truth is that YOU CHOSE NOT TO. A simple and free spreadsheet will also tell you exactly when you can pay off your mortgage. You simply choose not to use the easiest, cheapest, most efficient, and most sensible tool that’s available.

  102. sumyunggai

    If every one can do it for free why aren’t they doing it? if every one can manage their debt why are our national average savings in negative? Why are we in a 10 trillion dollar debt? Why can’t even the government managing their budget or debt? Cause people suck at making good financial decisions especially on their own. I see MMA software as a way to discipline an individual to follow their budget and make the consequences of the debt clear. It motivates people to work towards financial freedom as a team. It is very hard for most people to do things they don’t want to do on their own on a daily basis like saving money. Every purchase you make MMA shows you the “true cost”. $20,000 car might actually cost you $30,000 when you consider the debt you could have paid off. If it helps people be disciplined in they’re financial decisions, who are you to say that its not worth the money? What if the software helped people be disciplined enough to follow the budget and pay off their debt in 8 years when otherwise they would’ve taking decades without MMA or with some “do it your self” budget software people usually stop using after 3 weeks? Its hard when you have to struggle on your own. And any mistake you may make in the calculation by doing it your self could cost you thousands of dollars in interest you could have saved. Wouldn’t it be better to use MMA, work with a team of experts who can guarantee the most efficient out come, without wasting the time and effort to figure it out your self? i mean you have a life to live, kids to play with and a family to spend time with. Isn’t it up to the user to decide if that was worth the money or not? The retention rate means that people continue to use the program because it helps their budget and be disciplined. You would have second thoughts if you found out that the $20,000 car you were trying to buy was actually going to cost $30,000. you would end up getting a cheaper car.
    I see it being worth the money for SOME people. Why waste money on a mechanic when you can try to fix it your self? Because for SOME people its not worth the time and its worth the MONEY. Yeah! I win.

    P.S Contrary to a common believe, it is not always best to pay off the debt with the highest interest rate. their are 4 factors involved to determine the interest you end up paying. Interest rate, length of term, amount of debt, how the interest is calculated. depending on these factors you don’t always save the most interest by paying off the highest interest rate.

  103. Tracy Coenen

    You said “people suck at making financial decisions..” – You’re right, especially if they’re throwing $3,500 down the toilet on this crappy software.

    $3,500 software doesn’t make a careless person more careful. It doesn’t make an ignorant person less ignorant. It doesn’t “help make decisions” any more or less than a simple and free spreadsheet does.

    The retention rate means nothing other than people who already flushed $3,500 down the toilet don’t stop using what they’ve paid an outrageous price for. Retention rates only have meaning when you’re talking about a service (like insurance) that has a recurring fee. Once the MMA buyers have surrendered the $3,500 and there’s no turning back, they might as well keep using it.

    And yes, you’re right that the total interest does include those four factors. However, it always saves you money to pay your extra cash toward the highest interest rate. Simple math, baby. Simple math.

  104. Craig Hansen

    sumyunggai, I managed to struggle through that entire comment, and was deciding on which part to focus on, when you made a huge blunder at the bottom.

    Almost all of your comment is re-hashed MMA agent material that has already been debunked here and elsewhere, but you did come up with a new one, so let’s focus on that:

    Please give an example when “it is not always best to pay off the debt with the highest interest rate”. Just one example. Thanks.

  105. “I didn’t realize that by increasing my income by $200 per month and reducing my living expenses by $150 per month would allow me to cancel (not pay) $100,000 in interest over the next 7 years.”

    For the above statement to be valid, (i.e. for $350 extra per month over 7 years to save you $100K in interest for the rest of the loan) your rate would have to be at least 6-5/8% if not higher. Does MMA tell you that you could have used that $3500 to pay the closing cost to a lower rate mortgage, and actually save money? The phantom savings you brag about are meaningless, it’s the time value of your own money. Now, paying 5% vs 6.625% is real savings. Where on your financial dashboard does “refinance” pop up?

  106. Wild Wild West

    In your example, what is the loan balance and interest rate at the start of the period wherein you are not paying (or cancelling) $100K in interest? Additionally, is seven (7) years your estimated years to payback the loan?

  107. Paul

    When someone is clueless it’s impossible to know what they understand and what they don’t. I can tell from this comment and others past that you lack the insight to comment on the value of this service. If you told me you’ve been using the service for 6 months, have nothing else to do in your life except analyze spreadsheets and have only one debt and the service hasn’t done anything for you, then it’s probably not for you.

    You said “the product is expensive, inefficient, and time consuming. It costs the user far more than $3,500, not just in hard costs, but also in unnecessary risks that the software and UFF direct consumers to take.”

    I’m not sure what you mean about the unnecessary risks the software directs consumers to take and how it costs far more than $3,500 in risk. Can you explain this comment?

    It takes me 10 minutes a week to update, so how is this time consuming and inefficient?

    Are you always this condescending? We all know if we pay extra on the mortgage we can pay off sooner than just making the regular scheduled payments. How much sooner will we pay off if we pay $100 one month, $200 the next month, $300 the next month and zero the next month? Most of us don’t know the answer to this question and can’t calculate how much interest this will save us, let alone where we are.

    I’m glad you mentioned to the readers that I’m in the mortgage industry. Not sure what you mean about “LOL”. Can you elaborate? You said I work for a mortgage broker. I never said that. I’ve been the owner of a mortgage company for over 16 years, security and insurance licensed and haven personally helped hundreds of people with their finances. If you’re going to say things other people are going to read you should be truthful.

    You said “And the truth isn’t that you “wouldn’t have understood the impact” without MMA. The truth is that YOU CHOSE NOT TO. A simple and free spreadsheet will also tell you exactly when you can pay off your mortgage. You simply choose not to use the easiest, cheapest, most efficient, and most sensible tool that’s available.” The truth is I don’t have the time to produce a spreadsheet everytime my life changes. The spreadsheet works great as long as life remains static with no changes and as long as we’re just talking about the mortgage. The spreadsheet can’t re-calibrate or give me details about my other debt. In most cases easy, simple and cheap is not the best way to evaluate a financial solution.

  108. Tracy Coenen

    The fact that you OWN the mortgage company makes your lack of understanding of mortgages even scarier. You are selling mortgage services, yet volunteered to us that you didn’t know that extra money paid to your mortgage would help pay it off faster. That is frightening.

    The spreadsheet I reference is easily updated any time you choose to make an extra payment or eliminate the extra payment. Those promoting UFF have a vested interest in making consumers think a spreadsheet couldn’t possibly help them to get out of debt or it would be too complicated for them to use. On the contrary, it’s much easier to use than UFF and much more efficient as well.

    In terms of the additional risks… UFF directs consumers to aggressively use HELOCs (and now credit cards) with their system. That’s often not a good choice for a consumer…. not only because the cost to use a HELOC is more expensive than leaving debt on the first mortgage. But also because a consumer has risk in using the HELOC (related to changes the lender may make and variable interest rates) and the use of the HELOC might negatively impact their credit rating (in exchange for little to no real benefit.)

    Again, it’s easiest for UFF supporter to claim that I really don’t understand the MMA product than defend the high cost of the product and the little (if any) real benefit from it. You’d hate to actually have to prove any points with any real numbers. It’s much easier to just pretend I don’t understand MMA. The truth is that I understand it all too well.

  109. Kimberly Elise

    Hi, I found this blog when searching for information about UFF and MMA, as it was recommended by someone I consider credible. However, after reading the posts here, I think I will look at what Quicken offers first. I have a couple of sincere questions for those of you more financially literate than I am. First, I’m wondering if anyone can speak to the validity (or lack thereof) of the claim made by UFF that to save money on long-term interest using their program, you don’t necessarily have to make extra payments (i.e. floating the money through a HELOC and timing the payments appropriately allows you to save money without extra funds)? I ask because I don’t have money for extra money for anything … including their program! Second, could anyone tell me their opinion of setting up their mortgage payments on a biweekly payment system versus the standard monthly payment? Does this amount to significant savings, and is it difficult to set up through most mortgage companies? Thanks!

  110. Paul

    There you go again Tracy changing my words and deceiving the readers. For you to imply I don’t understand mortgages is a perfect example. You may want to read my comment again; I never said I didn’t understand mortgage pre-payment and the effect it has on amortized loans.

    I didn’t say your spreadsheet doesn’t work; it’s just doesn’t do what the MMA does.

    From my experience, the MMA has never aggressively used my HELOC or credit cards. Of course you wouldn’t know that because you’ve never actually used this system.

    So I find your statement, “UFF directs consumers to aggressively use HELOCs (and now credit cards) with their system” untrue.

    Have fun chasing your tail.

  111. Tracy Coenen

    Paul – For someone who didn’t want to argue with me, you’re sure arguing!

    How about we change my wording “aggressive use of a HELOC” to “use of a HELOC with little to no benefit, but added risk to the consumer.” This wording is much more precise.

    And you’re right. The spreadsheet does NOT do what the MMA does. It does not waste $3500 plus future interest. It does not take a few hours a month to use. It does not direct the consumer to make unnecessary transfers between accounts. It does not tell the consumer to use a HELOC in an unnecessary, risky, and expensive way. The spreadsheet is far superior to MMA.

    Thanks again for participating in the discussion.

  112. Craig Hansen


    You are FAR better off with Quicken or MS Money, if a software program is the way you want to go. Both will do a far better job of helping you create a budget, both will allow you to import account transactions directly from your bank, and neither will tell you to filter your mortgage through a useless HELOC.

    When UFirst agents say they can show you how to accelerate your mortgage without increasing your payments, they are lying. To accelerate your mortgage, the MMA will direct you to make “transfers” from the HELOC to your mortgage. These are simply prepayments in disguise. The problem is, you’ve reduced your mortgage by increasing your HELOC balance – you’re robbing Peter to pay Paul. If it takes you a while to pay down the balance of the HELOC again, you’re accumulating more HELOC interest than you saved in mortgage interest. You just can’t come out ahead by doing this. And the fact that you started out $3500 poorer because of the fee makes this a really, really bad deal.

    Further, UFirst’s MMA will not work for you if you have no extra money at the end of the month. UFirst even say so in the FAQ on their website.

    Biweekly has some minor advantages if you time the payments to happen as soon as your paycheque goes in, but we’re not talking big savings.

    I paid my mortgage biweekly, but there was no extra charge for me to do so. If there are significant extra fees involved, forget it. Otherwise, consider it if you are paid biweekly. One other advantage of biweekly is that you have twice as many opportunities to make extra payments against the principal. Your mortgage company will only apply any prepayments to the mortgage on the dates when the regular payment is due, so if you find yourself with some extra money, you may not have to wait as long to apply it.

    Talk to your mortgage broker about your options. And if you are getting a new mortgage or renewing, be aggressive in asking multiple lenders for their lowest rate, lowest fees and best terms for prepayment you can.

    Good luck, and check back in.

  113. Craig Hansen


    The only published MMA transaction examples available online show aggressive use of a HELOC. There are examples in videos, but this one is easier to see and is taken direstly from a UFirst-published video:


    In this example, the HELOC ending balance and average daily balance are hovering around $10,000 every month. I’ve seen examples with balances as low as $6000.

    Whether the average daily balance is $6000 or $10,000, that is debt accumulating more interest than it would if it were still in the primary mortgage at a lower rate.

    This is one of the main points against the MMA – you are being asked to pay a sum of money that would be better spent on your mortgage directly, for a product that further slows potential mortgage repayment.

  114. Tracy Coenen

    The use of the HELOC is risky because of the possibility that the lender could reduce the available credit, close the account, or otherwise make a change that makes funds unavailable to the consumer. (How great would that be after the consumer had just “deposited” a paycheck and now needs money to pay bills?)

    Of course, the other risk is the variable interest rate.

  115. Debtor

    I am new to this thread, but myself and some friends created our own MMA software. It does pretty much the same thing as the U First MMA software. It uses a HELOC to help the homeowner pay down their mortgage. It also will allow you to import your HELOC statements each month and adjust the pay off schedule, if you do not spend the same each month.

    The reason for the HELOC is peace of mind. Using a HELOC makes sense to us and to many others because it will allow the homeowner the ability to put every extra penny they have into the HELOC, thus paying off the mortgage faster. It is proven (and is in the software) that you can pay off your mortgage faster by putting the extra money directly towards the mortgage and not put it into the HELOC. But does that person put all their money towards the mortgage or do they keep some back for emergency’s….. That is the reason for the HELOC.

    Anyway….. our software is FREE. All you have to do is download and register it. All we ask is that if you find bugs or things that should be changed, please let us know. We do this as a hobby, but we also believe that $3500 is to much for MATH.


  116. Debtor

    What “scheme” are you talking about? Their is nothing required to register and use this software.

    If you are referring to the request for people that read the blog to sign up for the shopping portal, then you are again wrong about us. That does help support the site, but by no means is it required. It is a great site that saves people money and does not cost them a thing.

    Trust me, we did not put all the time and effort that we have into this software just to get people to sign up for a free shopping portal….

    Anyway, it is your blog so we are sorry if we offend anyone, but the software is still free and it still does what UFirst charges $3500 for. So use it or not, it is a hobby for us.


  117. Sunslant

    My friend, who struggles to make ends meet, got roped into selling this software somehow, and is now trying to get me to buy it. (She has NO clue what it does). I explained to her that I have a plan. Throw my extra money at my debt. Just to give Bruce, Robert, and a few other of the individuals who are defending this plan, a sense of the impact of just ONE extra payment:

    I made a spreadsheet keeping track of my loan (yes it took me more than a minute to make, but I’m neither lazy, nor do I want to pay this loan until I’m 76 years old by just making the minimum payments).
    If I continue paying the minimum payment, my payoff date would be October 14, 2056. If I make just ONE extra payment of $1000 at the current interest rate, JUST ONE, my payoff date will be EIGHT YEARS AND 5 MONTHS sooner. Imagine, just taking a FEW MINUTES to figure that out, and making extra payments every month.

    As long as you are not lazy, can make a freaking budget or yourself, and understand the impact of making extra payments, you don’t need this freaking software. With my spreadsheet I can literally SEE the impact of what an extra payment will do.

    I’m doing it on my own, and for free.

  118. Sunslant – you have a 50 year mortgage? Either way, the rest of your post is right on target, the math is not complex for anyone who passed their fourth grade classes.
    Careful with the friend, though. Those who have ‘drunk the koolaid’ are not likely to listen to reason. When she tells you “you can’t do this on your own”, “financial GPS”, or “factorial math”, you need to run, not walk, in the other direction.
    I wish your friendship well.

  119. Joshua


    You said before you started using your MMA software that you didnt care or even consider the fact of what an extra payment would do to your mortgage. After you started using the MMA software you said now you cared about the smallest change in interest to your over all debt after making a small purchase. The value of the change(Financial Wisdom) that happened to you and your family in a very short time is what could never be calculated by factorial math or all the experts in the world. You will never again have to wonder how the smallest to largest financial decision you and your family make will impact your future, its all at your finger tips.
    The education in finances, goal setting and dream chasing is priceless. We can not put a value on the last two.
    I chose choice (b) MMA. Robert you are definitely an expert in my opinion. You paid for your education but it was not the cost of MMA it was all the interest you paid out before MMA.

  120. Tracy Coenen

    Pardon me if I’m a bit skeptical about someone truly going from not caring about money at all, suddenly caring about every penny… all a result of flushing $3,500 down the toilet.

  121. Craig Hansen


    First, I doubt you paid off your house with this. I think you just made a fatuous claim, without evidence, that everyone can simply dismiss without evidence.

    Second, If you were potentially within 3 years of paying off your house when you bought this, spending $3500 on it was worse than usual. If you already were that close, wasting $3500 only set you back by a greater percentage of your total debt than is common among MMA users.

  122. Bruce

    You all can call me and my wife idiots or stupid or whatever you want, but this program changed our lives and our childrens lives. We KNEW that if we sent extra money in it would help pay our debts down faster. Do you think we ever did? NO!!!
    What this software does is show us what are choices do pos or neg for our future. I am now below 7 Years to debt freedom. 2 years ago I was at 29 years on my mortgage.
    Could I have done it on my own? Yes. Would I have done it on my own? NO

  123. Craig Hansen


    If you insist, then yes, you are an idiot. You put yourself $3500 further into debt, and even though you knew that every extra $100 you spent was costing you X days to your mortgage, you wouldn’t take action. But when you are told *exactly* the same thing by a $3500 piece of broken software that is inefficient and more work, you somehow ARE willing to listen and apply more money to your mortgage.

    To go from 29 years to 9 (7+2=9) requires a LOT of extra money. More than double your payments, in most cases. If the money was there all along, you could have done this on your own, and by now you would be on track to pay off the mortgage a few months faster than the MMA.

    As it is, you’re paying more interest than you need to, any LOC you are using isn’t helping (and could be frozen) and you supported a scummy company. None of these outcomes were unforeseeable, and you still seem happy about it. So yes, that makes you an idiot for buying the MMA.

  124. Zak W

    I have been thinking about and researching the MMA for about 2 years now. Funny i never found anything negative about the MMA until now. Bad luck on searching or whatever. The thing in the back of my mind has always been, why can’t i use Quicken for this? It’s just budgeting.

    So I was considering the MMA account. I got the projected “plan” showing how much i would save and be debt free/own house etc. The 3500 dollar cost has not set well with me ever.

    My wife and I have been decent budget people. We end up with about $500.00 free cash flow currently. I have been thinking about how to increase that cash flow and get ourselves out of debt, responsibly.

    So I have a Line of Credit of 8k, with 4100 used on it. Had to do a re-roof job on our house last year. Financed part of it with the 4100 and part with cash i had saved up for such home repairs.

    So the next plan is to pay off the 1 credit card i own, the used car loan, the small amount of hospital bills and get the LOC paid off.

    It will take a little bit of time but i think if I do my own MMA for myself, i can use this personal line of credit to pay down the credit card first, then nail the car loan down, then hammer the 2nd mortgage, then we can go to town on the primary.

    Easy! And No wasted $3500 on my LOC to pay to the rep to use the software and virtually cap out my options for what? A cheaper version of Quicken or Microsoft Money?

    Their presentations are very “impressive” but im not going to waste $3500. Thank you for this blog too. I has been more then helpful to me. I don’t throw down any money for anything before thinking it out.

  125. Craig Hansen


    Any Google search for anything remotely like “money merge account” or “united first financial” will cause most browsers to sound air raid sirens with big flashing red lights. UFirst and their agents hate Google with a passion, because they can’t control the message like they can in a presentation. They need to get you 1-on-1 before you hit Google, otherwise they’ve lost the sale.

  126. Zak W.


    Ya i totally agree. I was reading pros and cons on the whole thing for awhile while considering this. Since my situation wasn’t a 2nd mortgage LOC but a personal line. I had a friend at work that has a friend that works this stuff; been doing it for years. Saying how good it is etc. So i was considering it due to “trust” of my friends character or whatever. However when that price tag was $3500 i was like what?!

    I have owned Microsoft Money and now I have Quicken and i was thinking its the same thing if not similar so why the huge price? That’s when i started to google a lot more articles which i should have done sooner but regardless im not doing it now so its all good.

  127. Zak W.

    So after my rejection of the program here is the e-mail i got this morning. *sigh* Still not going to do it. 😛


    I can appreciate your due diligence in this important matter, however, I firmly believe that you will NOT achieve the same results as our software. I must apologize, but it occurred to me that I never took the time to fully explain why our software system is crucial; I took it for granted that the last agent you were working with explained this to you.

    This is what I propose we do. Today, I am sending you a presentation CD-ROM that explain the program from start to finish. This will explain to you how our software will use “found money” that you never thought you had and use it to it’s most efficiency to pay down your debt. This “found money” is not re-adjusting your expenses, but rather, understanding banking principles that only large banking institutions have used for many years.

    Our software brings this knowledge to the homeowner level and uses the same principles, so that every penny to your name is ALWAYS earning interest OR cancelling out debt. Have you ever thought that the money sitting in your zero interest checking account could be used to cancel out interest until you need that money to pay expenses?

    I have read the same “stuff” on the internet that you just read, and I can tell you that our worst critic out there has never USED our software to fully understand what it does. Consider this …

    1. I come from 10 years of experience in the mortgage business, so I understand these financial concepts

    2. I graduated from the University of Illinois with an Electrical Engineering degree, so I understand and appreciate the logic. Before I offered this product to my clients, I studied the software to make sure it worked. I can tell you that YOU WILL NOT get the same results.

    3. United First Financial spent 2 years and $2.5 million in research and development of this product. Mathematical engineers from GE Aeronautics were contracted to write the software code and create the complex math algorithms that analyze the most important factors in paying debt down. You will only understand this when you watch the presentation CD.

    4. NBC News in Las Vegas reviewed our company, attempting to uncover a scam, only to report that the software was worth every penny. Watch it on my website at http://www.MoneyMergeVideo.com

    5. One of the largest accounting firms in the world, Ernst & Young, awarded the co-founders of United First Financial the 2008 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award in the Utah region in the financial services industry.

    6. We are so confident that our software works as it should, that we GUARANTEE our results with a written guarantee when you sign up.

    Zak, you are an intelligent man. All I ask of you, before you make your final decision, is to take the time and watch the presentation CD I am mailing to you. I am convinced that by attempting to do this by yourself will cost you much more than the $3500 initial investment into the program.

    When I bought my home, I took it upon myself to build my own brick paver patio. I bought an instruction magazine at Home Depot and read up on it before starting. The magazine said I could do it in 2 weekends, so I decided to take on the project. What I learned was that it actually took me 3 months (the entire summer) to build. I moved 22 tons of gravel, sand, and brick pavers ALL BY MYSELF. When the project was done, it wasn’t perfect, because some of my cut in the brick weren’t accurate, and the patio was not level. But, it looked acceptable. One year later, there were parts of the patio that were beginning to sink into the ground and weeds began to grow between the bricks. The sand behind the retaining wall started to wash out every time it rained. It got so bad, that in the second year, I ultimately had to call a landscape professional to fix it. The lesson of the story is that I ended up spending more time AND money by doing it myself. I later realized that I should’ve hired a pro to begin with.

    Please call me when you are done watching the presentation, as I am sure you will see the huge advantage of using our software system.


    Makes me wonder if that is an auto generated e-mail the reps just plug my name into or if its a template reply, its crazy long.

  128. Craig Hansen

    UFirst agents have the “marketing” burned into their heads. They can spout this stuff all day long if necessary.

    Thank you very much for posting the email. By the url, I see it was written by agent Joe Medrano. I love where he claims to have graduated with an Electrical Engineering degree. He continues to explain how the MMA was developed by “Mathematical engineers from GE Aeronautics”. Every engineer knows there is no such thing as a “mathematical engineer”. I sincerely doubt Joe has the degree he says he does. If he does, ask him how large the mathematical engineering department is at the University of Illinois, or indeed, where one can study in this field.

    What really burns a lot of us is the talk that about “complex math algorithms that analyze the most important factors in paying debt down”. They act as if basic addition, subtraction, multiplication and division are beyond the grasp of anyone who doesn’t have that elusive “mathematical engineering” degree. In fact, you only need subtraction to beat the MMA.

    Month-end bank balance (minus) contingency amount (equals) extra mortgage payment. MMA beaten.

    And if he brings up “factorial math”, I wrote a guest blog entry here on the subject.

  129. Tracy Coenen

    “Our worst critic out there…”

    Moi???? Well OF COURSE I haven’t actually used the product. I’m not about to cough up $3,500 just for giggles. All I need to debunk the software is a pencil and a piece of paper.

    “Found money.” LOL – Sounds like I have my next blog post regarding UFF.

  130. JimmyDaGeek

    “Using the banks money” – We started out by taking out a loan called a mortgage, using the bank’s money. Now that it’s time to pay the loan back, we need to get the money from somewhere. Usually, it comes out of our paycheck. But MMA claims that if we use a HELOC, we are not using our money anymore, we are using the bank’s money. But, wait, we started all this by using the bank’s money to take out a mortgage and now we have to pay it back. So that means if we use the bank’s money by taking a loan out of the HELOC, we have to pay that back, too. So all we did was postpone having to pay the bank back by using the HELOC money to pay the mortgage. We still have to pay the HELOC back. Where is that money going to come from? Out of our paycheck. So why should we spend $3500 on MMA to play a money shell game with a HELOC?

    “Interest cancellation” – MMA claims that by loading up the HELOC and running our paychecks through the HELOC, we reduce the balance so much that we save lots of money that way, and that alone is worth $3500. OK, so how much can we save? Well, let’s assume our mortgage rate is 6%. That means each month, we are charged 1/2% on our mortgage balance, the whole balance. But if we are using interest cancellation, the most that we can save is whatever our monthly salary is. So, if we bring home $5,000, the largest HELOC balance we can offset is $5,000. How much will that save? $5,000 times 1/2% is $25. That’s $25 per month or $300 per year. So MMA wants you to spend $3500 upfront to save $300 per year. Do you know how much interest you would save if you just put $3500 towards your 6% mortgage? OVER $4,000.

    “Factorial math” – MMA claims no one except a computer can figure out the best possible way to pay all your bills and debts because of all the possible combinations. LIES. There is only one SIMPLE BEST way to pay off all your debts. You pay off the highest interest debt first and work your way down using a DEBT SNOWBALL. It only needs addition and subtraction.

  131. Jimmy is one of the great NaySayers I run into as I post regarding MMA. But I’ve chased his across the ether to set one point straight. On Fraud Files I’ll just post in this thread and move on.

    The calculation of interest is pretty simple. And for many examples, I can do it on my fingers. Rule of 72 says dived interest rate (whole numer) into the number 72 to get time to double. At 6%, money doubles in 12 years. $3500 in 12 years, $7000. Another 12, $14000. 6 more? Well I know that the square root of 2 is 1.414, 40% of 14000 is 5600, so I’ll say the total is $19,600.

    Now, let’s go to a calculator – 1.06 ^ 30 = 5.74, and $3500*5.74 = $20,090. Not bad, counting on my fingers provided 97.5% of the accuracy of a computer chip. On the other hand, the 6% is really 1/2% per month, and it works out to $21079, true cost of MMA.

    (since 1.006^30 = 1.19, 3500*1.19 = $4188, I suspect that was Jim’s typo)

    Final point – While the HELOC shuffle ‘can’ save some money, the UFF MMA product doesn’t implement its use correctly, so even at zero cost, I’d not use the system.

  132. Mike

    To everyone who is thinking about doing this. DO THE MATH don’t trust the sales person. More then likely they know nothing about finances and have just trusted the person that sold it to them.

    So even if it is a relative / friend / Co-Worker / Someone You Trust. Do your own math more then likely they have not. They are only trusting what they have been told and most likely have not have not done the math themselves.

    Once you do the math you will find out it is not worth the outrageous $3,500 they charge.

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