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.
Not many people, that’s for sure. As with any multi-level marketing company, a tiny fraction of people at the very top of the recruiting pyramid make some money, and everyone else makes little to nothing.
Here are the numbers posted on a UFF agent’s website in August 2008 (click to see full size):
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:
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.