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.
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.
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.
One of the credibilty builders (i.e. smokescreens) that United First Financial agents use when trying to sell their Money Merge Account is… “It’s based on the Australian banking system!” The claim is that this “system” has been used successfully in Australia for years, and so we should believe in it too!
However, the truth is that this “system” is all but dead in Australia because people (and regulators, to some extent) figured out what a scam they were. Here’s some information provided to me by someone in Australia who has done extensive research on the issue of mortgage acceleration:
Today a seller of the United First Financial Money Merge Account product threw out a challenge: Show him how a simple spreadsheet can pay off a mortgage faster than MMA. He said that his client owed $200,000 on a mortgage, and with only $200 “extra” cash left each month after regular living expenses, the MMA product made it possible to pay off that 30 year mortgage in only 13.2 years.
There is plenty of criticism here of United First Financial, Ufirst Financial, UFF, Money Merge Account, MMA, or whatever Google likes…
One of the arguments UFF supporters always seem to throw out is the “money back guarantee” that UFF gives. I’ve been critical of this guarantee here, because I think it’s next to impossible for anyone to get their money back. UFF has a cleverly-written “guarantee” that means you won’t get your money back. They say:
What a simple, yet eloquent explanation from one of our readers on the read deal behind UFF’s Money Merge Account (MMA).
UFF is a SCAM.
Borrowing at 8% to cover 6% loan will make you less money.
Paying down your mortgage directly (instead of using HELOC) will put you ahead.
United First Financial management has asked its agents to not participate on discussion forums, message boards, and blogs. Why? Because they’re having their hats handed to them. Simple math outdoes the UFF “factorial math” any time. Save the $3,500 and simply put your extra cash each month toward your debt with the highest interest rate. You’ll be out of debt faster than UFF will get you there, and you won’t waste hours each month goofing around with this near-worthless software.
Here’s the letter agents received, instructing them to not participate in discussions on the internet:
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.