Tracy, I wish I had read this earlier, like 2 months earlier. I did a Google search for paying down mortgages, and came across UFF’s Money Merge Account. I looked through the website, testimonials, etc. I was sold before the agent even contacted me. The agent was excellent. Young, but excellent. Totally different circumstances of life from me – I am much older with many more accounts, loans, investing vehicles. I was told that there was a “Multiple Properties Option” – I figured “PERFECT!” and signed up all enthused, fired up, ready to go.
Anyone who has spent some time on this site knows I’m no fan of the United First Financial Money Merge Account (UFF MMA). This “revolutionary” software is supposed to help you pay off your mortgage in record time, all for the low, low price of $3,500. Unfortunately, it’s being marketed with lies, and the UFF proponents who comment here consistently repeat the lies.
The argument in favor of the UFirst MMA that seems most likely to get any traction is: “You just don’t understand the product!” I’ve been asked a zillion times whether I’ve actually used the product, and have been told I don’t really know how it works. Nothing could be further from the truth.
I don’t have to flush $3500 down the toilet to know that the UFF Money Merge Account is worthless. I know enough about numbers to analyze the program and see that it doesn’t offer consumers any savings. They’d be better off doing one simple thing: Pay the minimum on all debts each month, and use any extra cash they have left toward the debt with the highest interest rate.
UFF would have you believe that some complex “factorial math” is necessary and is what creates the savings for the consumer. But that’s a lie. Sure, there may be hundreds of different ways to pay your 10 debts each month, but only ONE way matters. Paying the minimum on all debts and using all extra cash to pay down the debt with the highest interest rate. You don’t have to be smart to do this. It really couldn’t be any simpler.
MMA proponents have often challenged me to compare the do-it-yourself (DIY) method I promote (which is free!) and the UFF program (which is $3,500) to see which puts the consumer further ahead. None of them have actually participated in their own challenges, although I’m more than happy to do so.
But we don’t need my participation. On FatWallet.com, this challenge has been completed over and over, and the UFF MMA loses every time. Here is a set of links that will show you how the MMA loses. It is astonishing that promoters of United First Financial can still pretend that their product is worthwhile:
He challenged us to see the truth. He said that spreadsheets and other cheap stuff are nothing compared to what the MMA can do.
10 different scenarios to prove that MMA is better. Different loans, different interest rates, life-changing situations.
A simple spreadsheet we created. In all 10 scenarios, the MMA was behind.
In the end, he had to admit the truth. The MMA will always lose.
The UFF agent proposed 10 different scenarios. Under every single one of them, the consumer using the UFF MMA would lose… taking a longer time to pay off their debts.
MONEY MERGE ACCOUNT START PAYOFF PERIOD 6.75 YEARS
1. PAY RAISE OF $50 BIWEEKLY – PAYOFF – 6.667 YRS 8/2014
2. SAVE $150 MO IN BUDGET – PAYOFF – 6.25 YRS 3/2014
3. SPEND $900 FRO 8.5 MO – PAYOFF – 6.583 YRS 7/2014
4. DEPOSIT 3500 – PAYOFF – 6.417 YRS 5/2014
5. SPEND 20,350 FROM EQUITY – PAYOFF – 7.167 YRS 2/2015 TRUE COST IS $28,084
6. BUY CAR-12K PAY MO. PAYMENT PAYOFF – 7.583 YRS 7/2015
7. LOSE JOB OF BIWEEKLY ———- OUT OF MONEY IN 35 MONTHS FROM EQUITY LINE
8. SAVE $500/MO IN CHILD CARE PAYOFF – 20.667 YRS 8/2028
9 NEW BIWEEKLY JOB – PAYOFF – 10.583 YRS 7/2018
10 RUN HELOC AT 18% FROM DAY ONE PAYOFF – 11.167 YRS 2/2019
Base: 5/2014 (6.5 years)
1. 2/2014 (6.25 years)
2. 10/2013 (5.917 years)
3. 2/2014 (6.25 years)
4. 12/2013 (6.08 years)
5. 8/2014 (6.75 years)
6. 1/2015 (7.167 years)
9. 4/2016 (8.417 years) (7, 8 and 9 are related scenarios.)
10. 5/2016. Note that my simulation did not get affected that much by the HELOC rate increase to 18% because I used HELOC for emergency purposes only. Total HELOC interest incurred (Cell T7, non-compounded) increased from 557.23 to 1487.94 but you are still able to pay off the loan at the same month.
The DIY approach had a .25 year (3 months) advantage to begin with because of the $3500 software cost. From scenarios 1 to 6,the DIY approach remained between .20 to .40 year advantage (~2 to 4 months). This is to be expected since we’re supposedly running the same scenarios, therefore similar results. The variance of +/- 1 month between the scenarios would be due to the fact that the loan could be paid off in month x, but in certain instances there is some balance left causing the other scenario to finish the following month.
Our end result after scenario 9 are quite different, so we would have to look into that. As mentioned above, the DIY approach did not get affected by the HELOC rate change (Scenario 10).
JHB, I do not need to see your software as we have produced similar results (except maybe for 7, 8, 9 where you end much later). If you disagree on the result in any scenario, investigate the spreadsheet. I display ALL the data monthly. If you think I entered the wrong payment scenario (incorrect start or end month, incorrect amount), go ahead and change it and click on Calculate. It should give you the payoff date.
And now, I rest.
And it was all done with one simple spreadsheet. No factorial math. No complicated paydown scenarios. Just the simple “pay more toward the debt with the highest interest rate” plan.
More than a year after I started to write about the evils of United First Financial, its representatives are still trying to dazzle the crowds with bogus claims of factorial math.
It’s become clear that the primary method for selling consumers on this ridiculously expensive software that the consumer doesn’t even own ($3,500) is by confusing them. Prattling on about the massive algorithm used to determine the “optimal” method of paying down one’s debt to save the most money.
Today I received some interesting information on United First Financial, the company selling the $3,500 Money Merge Account. Here is a listing of all UFF agents (warning: large file download), showing that there are 59,703 agents on the rolls.
The fee to sign up as an agent is $175. Multiply that by 59,703 agents, and you see that the company has brought in over $10.4 million just in agent fees. Not a bad payday just for allowing people to sell overpriced, ineffective software.
Haven’t gotten enough of the cold hard reality that United First Financial’s MMA is inferior to a very simple (and free!) do-it-yourself prepayment of your mortgage (which only requires you to pay extra on your mortgage once a month)?
Joe Taxpayer did a five-part series on the UFF MMA, and here’s a summary:
Guest post by Joe Taxpayer
As I looked at multiple United First Financial agents’ sites, I found the common thread was the claim that one simply can’t do this on their own, that the shifting of funds from a checking account, to a HELOC, and then to a primary mortgage somehow needed such a level of sophisticated computer analysis that it was beyond the average consumer.
But let’s dig a bit deeper to understand what savings may or may not be possible with the UFF Money Merge Account. In the classic MMA example (i.e. the one appearing on or linked from most agents’ sites) we are looking at a 6% fixed rate mortgage, and $5,000 in net monthly cash flow.
One of our readers posted this, and it’s brilliant. It is the simplest possible way to break down what United First Financial is selling with its Money Merge Account.
Question for the consumer:
Would you rather pay $0 to save $110,000, or would you like to pay $3500 to save $100,000?
It gets to the truth of what UFF is selling with the MMA. Sure, you could save a lot of money using the MMA. But you will save even more FOR FREE.
I’ve been critical of the United First Financial Money Merge Account for a few months now. My critique is simple: The program is not worth $3,500. It’s worth less than $100. All the MMA does is direct you to use all available cash each month to pay down more of your mortgage. You can do that for free. The budgeting tools that are offered with the software are no better than other packages on the market like Quicken.
On of the criticisms I’ve faced from UFF “agents” is that I simply don’t understand the program. I haven’t tried it. I haven’t seen how it REALLY works. I just don’t know what I’m talking about.
They are wrong. I know exactly what they’re selling, and that’s the problem. If my analysis wasn’t right on the money, they wouldn’t be so bothered. “Have a free analysis done!” they tell me.
One of the most common forms of “training” offered to members of multi-level marketing companies (also known as direct sales, pyramid schemes, dual marketing, networking marketing, etc) is Overcoming Objections. Why is that such a key? Because all of the ones that I’ve seen have overpriced, underperforming products, and consumers are usually pretty quick to see that.
So distributors, agents, representatives, or whatever they’re called must be skilling in overcoming every single objection you could have. In Mary Kay, consultants are trained: “No does not mean no. It means that she needs more information.” Clearly, the only answer that is accepted is “yes.”
United First Financial trains its “agents” in the fine art of overcoming objections, and today I’m going to share with you a couple of them.
I’ve had lots of comments on my thread here about United First Financial and Dave Ramsey. Dave is an absolute expert on credit issues, and he hates UFF. He says it’s a complete waste of money. (Of course, I agree.)
As usual, he’s accused of not knowing what he’s talking about because he hasn’t been to one of the UFF cult meetings. The fact is that he’s very savvy about this.