A couple weeks back in a post titled Money Merge Hyperbole, I discussed the Money Merge product offered by UFF, and focused on the fact that in their published example, it’s clear that the use of a HELOC doesn’t provide any incremental savings. A kind reader points out on his web site, My Debt Elimination Calculator (Edit – Greg has since stopped selling this software), that HELOC can provide some savings depending on a number of factors. Among them, the time of the month that income comes in, when bills are due, and the relative differences in HELOC interest rate, mortgage rate, and checking account interest. I agree with this. I’m from the “numbers don’t lie” camp and Greg offers numbers to back up his comments on that post. In his examples, the HELOC system saves $2550 more than the prepaying method on a $100K mortgage. (This is for the more realistic example where the borrower doesn’t have the (unrealistic) extra $1000/mo, but a more reasonable amount which will reduce the mortgage to 24 years from 30. In this case, Greg’s software is capturing over $100/yr in extra savings by using the HELOC. I certainly can’t knock a system that beats what I saw on official MMA sites but only costs $30. Take a look through the link above.
One point I must concede is this: It’s easier to make a purchase (waste money) when it’s from cash in the bank than when you are taking that money as a HELOC withdrawal. Maybe that’s what the MMA people are trying to say, but that message is lost to me among all the hyperbole.
I will close with this question and thought. If UFF, with the chance to put their product in the best light, cannot provide an example with real numbers which shows any savings beyond that of the prepaying (which I can illustrate with a free spreadsheet) yet create this illusion of ‘sophisticated algorithms’ taking millions of dollars to develop, how do they justify a $3500 price tag? On the flip side, you have been introduced to Greg, (whom I just met via my blog) a Computer Scientist who was able to write code providing a solution that actually impressed me looking at his example. I’m sure this debate isn’t over.