Today I’m going to review the United First Financial The Money Merge Account® Program; also know as a MMA for Money Merge Account.
They say, “Eliminate Your Mortgage.
The Money Merge Account program pays off mortgages faster using an interest-cancellation strategy. While many homeowners realize that they can save money by reducing the interest rate they pay on their loans, few think about the length of time they will be paying. The Money Merge Account program combines innovative software with traditional banking systems and personal coaching to drastically reduce your mortgage term and minimize your interest.”
So far so good; I totally agree with paying off all debt.
So how does the MMA system work?
First buy their system for $3,500.
Then they say the user will
- Need a deposit account; usually a checking or a saving account.
- What they call a Facilitating Account which is a savings account or a Line of Credit.
- Need their software to tell them when to transfer money between accounts.
What I’m not liking here is the idea of using debt to pay off debt. Not to mention that banks aren’t really excited about Home Equity Lines of Credit at this time.
What I’m seeing is that if you were spending less than you make the software might have you fill the facilitating account with surplus money and then pay off debt with that money.
Or as I saw with friends who bought this program, for $3,500, the software told them to pay off a higher interest rate truck loan with their Line of Credit and then there was nothing they could do until the paid down the Line of Credit. All that advice for $3,500?
One of the reasons they say you can’t do this yourself is that it’s too complicated and requires very sophisticated software.
I just don’t agree – you could do this with a pencil, paper and calculator and some basic personal finance principles.
My opinion is save the $3,500 and do it yourself.
Here are the steps I teach in my personal finance class:
- Save a $1000 Emergency Fund
- Establish a budget
- Start using the cash envelope system
- Begin paying off your non-mortgage debt from smallest balance to largest
- Consider selling anything that will take longer than 18 months to pay off
- When your done paying off your non-mortgage debt, grow your emergency fund to equal 3 – 6 months of living expenses
- Begin saving for financial independence
- Begin saving for college, if you have kids or someone you want to send to college
- Begin saving a $20,000 major medical fund
- Begin paying off your home aggressively
I tend to put paying off your home last in the the process, but that is because I value peace of mind over not having a mortgage.
Don’t get me wrong – I want that mortgage done ASAP too. I just don’t happen to believe in magical software and borrowing to pay off debt.