This site is not affiliated with or endorsed by United First Financial.

This site is not affiliated with or endorsed by United First Financial.

We have discussed at length all of the reasons why the United First Financial Money Merge Account (UFF MMA) program is a waste of $3,500. In fact, we’ve even proven how even if the software was FREE, consumers are better off not using it.

The evidence which  supports these assertions is based in simple math. A few simple calculations show that MMA loses every time against a basic do-it yourself method. It is common knowledge that the fastest way for a consumer to pay down a group of debts is to pay the minimum monthly payments on each bill, and after paying all required monthly expenses, send any extra cash toward the debt with the highest interest rate.

Here is a more in-depth explanation of that concept. Even Dave Ramsey, the guru of getting rid of debt, admits that anything other than this method will cost you more money. But the reason he promotes a different method (his “debt snowball”) is the psychological effect he says it has on consumers. That’s fine to consider, but everyone has to admit that Dave’s snowball plan is slower than the method above if the consumer applies either method consistently.

But the simple math behind this doesn’t convince UFF Agents like Johnny, who has been part of the discussion here for the last few days. Johnny threw down a challenge for me: He wanted to pit the UFF MMA against my do-it-yourself method and see who comes out ahead. Having done this before, I know that the do-it-yourself method ALWAYS comes out ahead of U1st Financial.

How do I know that? Simple. With UFF the consumer starts out $3,500 behind because of the cost of the software. If the consumer finances the $3,500 cost, their debt is already $3,500 higher at our starting point than with my do-it-yourself method. If the consumer has cash to pay for the $3,500 software, their debt is also $3,500 higher at our starting point than with do-it-yourself because that $3,500 of cash could have been immediately applied to reduce debts had it not been for the UFF pruchase.

Despite my multiple invitations for Johnny to begin our challenge by providing me with MMA’s numbers, he hasn’t participated. I’m pretty sure that it’s because he’s guaranteed to lose and he knows it. But maybe he doesn’t.

He proved today that he can’t handle a simple math problem. In a discussion thread on this site, I mentioned the above method of reducing debt by paying the ones with the highest interest rates first.

Even a person who isn’t good at math and can’t do this calculation on his own certainly could do a Google search for “fastest way to pay down debt” and see that multiple sources agree that the method I’ve cited is mathematically the fastest way.

But UFF agents like Johnny don’t seem to care about the facts. He won’t participate in the challenge that he threw down, and he won’t even bother to research this issue. Here’s what he had to say today (bold added by me):

If you have an intelligent reply I will follow through with challenge and the homework to answer your childish taunts. Your method is not based on facts, it’s based on emotions or opinions. Paying down the debt with the highest interest first is emotional and in fact most often NOT the best way. Typically it is the higher balance with the low interest rate that over time eats away so much interest.

Maybe, you let the debate do the homework for you because you certainly have not done yours. But, surrounding yourself with yes men and not letting a open dialog happen you will never truly grow nor will this tired old blog.

That is most unfortunate for those who can benefit from a service that since you talk crap about will not at least for now. If that is the case and UFF is the best thing since sliced bread you are directly responsible for unfair reporting and another way to look at it might be to say that you may indirectly cause your readers further financial burden. Those who might actually believe you without putting you, your work, your credentials and your credibility to a challenge.

A simple math problem proves Johnny wrong. Let’s use two credit cards as an example. One has a balance of $10,000, an interest rate of 19%, and a minimum monthly payment of $200. The other has a balance of $5,000, an interest rate of 10%, and a minimum monthly payment of $100. The consumer has $600 each month to pay toward these credit cards.

What’s the fastest way to having them both paid off? My way. Pay $100 per month on the card with the $5,000 balance, and pay $500 per month on the card with the $10,000 balance. When the card with the original $10,000 is paid off, apply all money to the other card until it’s paid off.  Using a simple monthly interest calculation, it would take 31 months to pay off both credit cards with total monthly payments of $600 for the entire payoff period. The total interest paid would equal $3,083.76

Using Johnny’s flawed methodology, the payoff would take 32 months, and the total interest paid would equal $3,830.26.  That’s $746 extra wasted on interest if you listen to Johnny.

And did I magically come up with one of the few scenarios in which my numbers win? (After all, Johnny says my way is most often not the best way.) But he’s wrong. My numbers will always win. Pick any numbers, plan a payoff my way or Johnny’s way, and my way wins.

And here’s my spreadsheet to show you all the numbers.

Now the next criticism will be that every consumer doesn’t have the know-how to make the spreadsheet I did. And that’s true. But the spreadsheet isn’t necessary. I only made it to prove that my math is right, and Johnny is wrong. The consumer doesn’t need the spreadsheet to apply the concept. And even if the consumer thought she or he did need such a spreadsheet, there are plenty of templates to be found on the internet for free.

Tracy – 1
Johnny – 0

I win!


  1. Tony 10/30/2009 at 5:03 pm - Reply

    how do you know how much of the $600 or any amount that you have go to the higher interest rate card?

  2. Tracy Coenen 10/30/2009 at 7:09 pm - Reply

    Tony – You pay the minimum payment on all cards, and then whatever is left over goes to the card with the highest interest rate. So using my method above, the card with the lower interest rate had a minimum payment due of $100. We paid the $100, and then had $500 left over to pay toward the other card with the higher interest rate.

  3. michael webster 11/03/2009 at 9:01 pm - Reply

    Tracy, I think that Johnny wants the example reversed – with the 19% credit card having the $5k balance and the 10% card having the $10k balance.

    It won’t make a difference because you want to reduce your total interest payments as quickly as possible to avoid compound interest.

    But, it might make your presentation a clearer victory.

  4. Tracy Coenen 11/03/2009 at 9:21 pm - Reply

    Oh my goodness, I think you’re right Michael. His argument is even worse if you’re right. Those UFF agents sure are sharp!!!

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