Archive for March, 2010

An Incredible Future Because of Primerica

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010

When I was young, my goals and dreams were so big!  I was the youngest of eight children so when my dad died suddenly of a brain aneurysm when I was four, we were devastated.  Of course, I didn’t know anything about life insurance at the time, but when I was older, I came to acutely understand that his small whole life policy didn’t even begin to cover our family’s finances.

I saw how hard it was on my mom to suddenly be not only a single parent to all of us kids, but also to not have any kind of financial buffer.  Even at such a young age, seeing what my mom was going through, gave me my first understanding of how important life insurance is to a family.

As I grew older, I became convinced that the only way to be successful is to follow the traditional “college to corporate” route.  My mom drummed that into our heads, so when it came time to go to college, we went!

At the time, I thought I was doing all the right things to find success.  I thought I had everything all figured out.  I married my high school sweetheart, Mary, and we both got “good” jobs.  I worked as a pharmacist and she taught for the Austin (TX) Independent School Association.

We felt average and ordinary, but we didn’t know any better.  We thought our plan for a better life was working.  But something wasn’t right.  What we thought was good employment was really a dead end.  We felt like there had to be something else out there that would allow us to live the kind of life we wanted, but we had no clue how to find it.

Then, my oldest brother told us about Primerica.  It was like a light went on for us!  What we saw at the business overview convinced us that this was our shot to do something extraordinary.  It was more than the chance to make a potentially unlimited income.  It was about being able to positively impact families in our community in a way I wished someone would have done for mine when I was a kid.

Primerica gave us the opportunity to be in business for ourselves but not by ourselves.  We found out right away that the support system is truly unmatched.  We had local mentors in the office we worked out of, but also a whole company behind us all the way.  It’s just incredible!

For the first four years or so, we just supplemented our full‑time careers with Primerica part‑time.  But we kept seeing all these successful leaders, living great lives and enjoying the freedom that comes from making what you’re worth.  At the time, we’d just had our first daughter.  She was born premature and Mary quit her job to take care of her.  That put us down to one full‑time income plus our growing part‑time business.  We realized that we had to make a choice: Stay where we where and struggle or give Primerica – which was rapidly bringing in a good amount of money – our full attention.

We chose Primerica and it changed our lives!  In our first year full‑time in the business we made six figures and opened our own office.  Three years later, we were earning more than a half a million dollars annually.*

Our experience is proof that if you work hard and commit to helping families and building a business, you can find unlimited success here.  I feel like the number one thing that attracted us initially and keeps us coming back day after day is Primerica’s crusade to help families become properly protected, debt free and financially independent.  No one cares as much for the middle‑income market like Primerica does.  I’ve witnessed first‑hand how much this company and its leaders truly care about the people we serve – not about how much money we can make.

We not only help families prepare themselves for the future, but we also offer them good financial education so they’re better equipped to make healthy financial choices.  That’s the foundation of what we do – showing people how money works so they can change the way they handle it!

A lot of Mary’s and my dreams have come true because of Primerica – and we see the positive impact we’re making on the families in our community every day.  We’ve been so blessed because we believed in ourselves and in this business enough to give it a shot.  The future is incredible – and we can’t wait to experience it!

Carlos & Mary Gonzalez
West Lake Hills, TX

*The cash flows stated are not intended to demonstrate the earnings of typical RVPs/representatives. Rather, the cash flows that have been cited reflect the potential that comes with building your business, and there is no guarantee that you will achieve any specific cash flow level. Most RVPs/representatives do not achieve the levels illustrated.  In the 12‑month period ending in December 2008, Primerica’s sales force consisted of approximately 100,000 life‑licensed representatives, to whom the Company paid a total of $622,000,000 in compensation, an average of $6,220 per licensed representative.  Average RVP earnings are typically higher.  Actual gross cash flow is, among other factors, dependent upon the size and scale of a representative’s organization, the number of sales and the override spread on each sale, and the ability and efforts of you and your downlines.  Having said this, Primerica provides a tremendous opportunity for individuals who work hard and who desire to develop a business with strong income potential.

Primerica Opportunity – Is There a Primerica Scam?

Thursday, March 11th, 2010

When I was growing up, there was a guy I’d see around the neighborhood who always seemed like he had a lot of money.  He drove a nice car and lived in a nice house.  I found out that he was an electrician and that sounded like a good deal to me.  I was looking for a way to have an extraordinary life, so I learned the trade at age 18 and started what I thought would be my career.

By the time I was 26, I was in the union at my company, I had a very good job – great pay, excellent benefits, a pension plan, everything.  One day on the job, I overheard some guys talking about investments.  I already knew how money worked because of my parents.  They had taught me the value of a dollar and about working hard and doing whatever it took to provide for your family, no matter what other people thought of the kind of job you had.

Anyway, I was interested in starting an investment strategy and one of the guys turned out to be a Primerica rep.  So I invited him over to talk to me about what Primerica could do for me.

At the time, they told me about Primerica’s business opportunity but I had a great job, so I didn’t even think about it.  But then, a couple of months later, I decided to go ahead and go to a business overview just to see what the business was all about.  I was so impressed that I signed up right away.

For the first few months, I did Primerica part?time while I worked full time as an electrician.  I was nearing 10 years in the union, which would have qualified me for a pension.  But I saw something in Primerica that I never saw in corporate America.  I saw a real chance for freedom. In the corporate world, if you work hard, if you’re honest, if you’re a good person, you get nothing in return.

At Primerica, those qualities mean something.  They allow you to have control over your life and your future.  Working for yourself is the greatest opportunity in the world.  You never have to answer to a boss and your income is dependent on your activity and your passion for helping people – not on what someone else says you’re worth.

When I first joined, the last thing I wanted was another job.  That’s why the Primerica opportunity is so incredible!  This business is what you make of it – not what someone else dictates.  You don’t earn a fixed salary, rather, you have the opportunity to earn an unlimited income, based entirely on your own efforts, your own drive and your own passion.  I realized right away that Primerica was my chance to create the kind of freedom and the kind of lasting legacy for my family that I always knew I wanted.

And it’s not just me and my family.  The Primerica Opportunity has helped hundreds of thousands of other people change their lives forever.  It doesn’t matter what anyone may have heard about this business.  When people tell me they have concerns, I just show them how my life has changed!

I think people are always going to say negative things when they don’t understand how a system works or understand what it is a company does.  I’ve never let negative things like that bother me.  I’ve been in this business 15 years.  When I was a kid, I never thought I’d be making the kind of money I’m making now or having the kind of impact on others that I’m able to have because of Primerica.

Today, my wife, Kimberly, and I are living our dream life with our daughter.  We make an incredible income – with unlimited potential to earn even more.  But it’s not really so much about the money as it is Primerica has enabled us to become better people.  We’ve improved ourselves – and we’ve been able to help so many families along the way – and that’s the bigger reward.

Because of Primerica, we’ve been able to relocate ourselves and our business from New Jersey to our dream house in San Diego, CA.  Our daughter is growing up in an environment where she never has to worry about money.  She’s learning that she doesn’t have to work for someone else to be successful.

We’ve been very blessed … and I’m so glad I believed in myself enough to leave what conventional wisdom called a ‘good job’ and build something incredible for myself and my family!

- Tommy Lee
Primerica Representative

Credit Counseling Scam? Primerica is Different!

Thursday, March 4th, 2010

Recently, BusinessWeek published an eye-opening article about credit counseling services.  Many of these services are nothing more than financial scams.  They advertise a “quick fix” for families in a financial crisis, but often, families end up even deeper in debt because of outrageous fees and high interest rates.

Primerica is different!  With our FREE Financial Needs Analysis (FNA), our clients get a clear snapshot of their current financial status.  Our competitive mortgage and debt consolidation products are designed to help families get out of debt faster – not punish them for past mistakes!

Read this timely article below.

Look Out for That Lifeline
Business Week, March 6, 2008

Debt-settlement firms are doing a booming business—and drawing the attention of prosecutors and regulators

Granville Jones knew he was spending beyond his means after he racked up $90,000 largely in credit-card debt — $10,000 more than his annual income. So last summer the Durham (N.C.) pharmacist turned to the Consumer Law Center for help. The firm told Granville that if he withheld payments from creditors, the CLC would have the leverage to negotiate a lump settlement on his debts and cut his balances by half in five years. So Granville stopped paying his bills and instead handed over a monthly sum to the CLC to cover an eventual settlement with creditors as well as the firm’s fees. “When you are financially stressed, you hope for miracles,” says the 47-year-old, who was current on his bills before reaching out to the law firm.

The miracle never happened. Instead, Jones gets daily calls from collection agencies. One lender has sued him in county court for the $25,000 it’s owed. Frustrated, Jones cancelled the program in January. The CLC agreed to refund the $10,744 he paid, but only after Jones filed a complaint with North Carolina’s attorney general in February. “All Consumer Law did was leave me hanging,” says Jones. The CLC did not return calls for comment.

Jones’ predicament is another by-product of the credit crunch. With individuals of all income brackets struggling to pay their bills, many are seeking help from the hundreds of debt-settlement firms that promise to reduce credit-card balances by as much as 70% over several years.

No-Bargain Bargaining Chip
Like credit counselors, debt-settlement firms generally collect a single monthly payment from clients. But rather than disbursing the money to credit-card companies to cover the borrowers’ bills, they withhold it. The settlement firms then use the money as a bargaining chip in an attempt to negotiate a lump-sum payout with lenders. These programs have proliferated of late as credit-card debt has soared; the typical U.S. household now has more than $7,000 in outstanding balances, up 45% from five years ago.

The booming business has caught the attention of prosecutors and regulators, who say such programs can leave consumers in worse financial shape. Fees for the services run high. And when banks don’t agree to settle — if the settlement firm contacts them at all — consumers get hit with late charges and penalized with higher interest rates, leaving borrowers with even more debt than when they started.

Wary of such pitfalls, seven states have already banned settlement activities. Others, such as Iowa, are considering similar rules. Meanwhile, the Federal Trade Commission and attorneys general in six states have recently filed complaints against debt-settlement firms. Four are investigating Hess Kennedy Chartered, an affiliate of the Consumer Law Center, including AGs in North Carolina and Florida, both of which filed civil charges against the Coral Gables (FLA) firm for allegedly deceptive practices. “There are more of these firms than we can handle,” says Norman Googel, an assistant attorney general in West Virginia, which is investigating 15 settlement firms. “They are truly exploiting a group of consumers already in crisis.” Hess Kennedy didn’t return calls for comment.

The settlement industry defends its services, asserting that its payment plans can be more affordable than traditional credit counselors and provide consumers an alternative to bankruptcy. “Debt settlement is a boot camp for getting out of debt,” says Nicolas de Segonzac, president of the trade group Association of Settlement Cos. Says Jenna Keehnen, executive director of U.S. Organizations for Bankruptcy Alternatives: “In any industry there are bad actors. But for every complaint, there are thousands and thousands of appreciative customers that have gone successfully through the programs.”

What many borrowers who sign on don’t realize, though, is that fees can run as high as 30% of the total outstanding balance, or $3,000 on $10,000 in debt. It’s also often unclear to individuals, say state and federal prosecutors, that the bulk of their initial payments — those made within the first year — go toward fees rather than the settlement. “The programs typically require financially strapped consumers to pay fees up front, so they make money whether or not any useful services are performed,” says Philip Lehman, an assistant attorney general in North Carolina.

Although some consumers have found relief with debt-settlement firms, the programs do not have the same success rate as credit-counseling agencies. Credit counselors, which have long-standing relationships with issuers, work with lenders to lower interest rates and create a monthly payment plan for borrowers. According to the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, which represents 1,500 counselors in the U.S., 60% of clients complete the plans.

By comparison, North Carolina prosecutor Lehman estimates that 80% of consumers drop out of debt-settlement programs within the first year. And the Federal Trade Commission, which has settled six cases against settlement outfits in the past four years, found that at one of those firms, just 1.4% of the consumers who entered the program finished it and settled with lenders.

Why? One reason is that some banks, including Bank of America (BAC) and Discover Financial Services, (DFS) refuse to negotiate with settlement firms. The programs, issuers say, only add to their pile of bad debt since consumers stop payment. “This is one instance where both creditors and debtors are worse off,” says a credit-card executive who declined to be named.

Meanwhile, borrowers rack up late fees, over-limit charges, and other penalties for missed payments. Creditors may also pass the debts to collection agencies or sue for damages in court. Those blemishes inflict long-lasting damage on a credit report. All that can leave borrowers not only with more debt, but even worse, can force them into bankruptcy — exactly the situation many were trying to avoid.

Barbara Bautch knows what it’s like to be on that slippery slope. Unable to manage the $12,000 tab on two cards, the part-time health-care aide in Silver Bay, Minn., signed up with settlement firm American Financial Services in 2006, forking over $233 a month to the Bakersfield (Calif.) company. After one of the card companies sued, Bautch learned that AFS hadn’t contacted either issuer regarding a settlement deal. Between late charges, penalty interest, and attorneys’ fees, her debt now stands at $20,000. AFS did not return calls for comment. Says Bautch: “AFS drove me into bankruptcy, and it was no sweat off its back.”

Promoting Ethical and Fair Insurance Business Practices

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010

Primerica is proud to be a charter member of the Insurance Marketplace Standards Association (IMSA).

Since 1996, IMSA has had the sole focus of advocating the highest standards and ethics throughout the industry. Companies vie to be IMSA members but they have to uphold the best industry practices. Primerica has been a member since day one and must qualify for recertification with IMSA every three years.

Each member of IMSA vows to:

• Conduct business according to high standards of honesty and fairness and to render that service to its customers which, in the same circumstances, it would apply to or demand for itself.

• Provide competent and customer-focused sales and service.

• Engage in active and fair competition.

• Provide advertising and sales materials that are clear as to purpose and honest and fair as to content.

• Provide for fair and expeditious handling of customer complaints and disputes.

• Maintain a system of supervision and review that is reasonably designed to demonstrate the company’s commitment to and compliance with IMSA’s Principals and Code of Ethical Market Conduct.


Beware of Debt Payoff Scams, Primerica Urges Consumers

Monday, March 1st, 2010

Press Release

A recent survey shows the median amount of household credit card debt is $6,600 and the average debt load is almost $9,900.  Further, of the 88 million credit card-carrying households, 61% carry a balance from month to month.1

For clients who feel like they’re sinking under the weight of debt, looking into a debt or credit “help” firm may seem like a good idea.  But some of these firms that promise to eliminate debt or repair credit may not be operating in compliance with the law, and doing business with them could have long-term negative effects on the client’s credit report and ability to get credit.

Primerica, a financial services industry leader, urges clients to beware of six key “red flags” when researching a debt elimination or credit repair service.2

Red Flag #1: The company wants the consumer to pay for credit repair services before any such services are actually provided.

Red Flag #2: The client is not made aware of their rights and no information on what can be done for free is provided.

Red Flag #3: The firm recommends the client does not contact any of the three major credit reporting companies directly.

Red Flag #4: The client is told that the debt firm can get rid of most or all of the accurate negative information in their credit report.

Red Flag #5: The company suggests the client invents a “new” credit identity.

Red Flag #6: The client is advised to dispute all the information contained in their credit report regardless of its accuracy or timeliness.

For more information about debt payoff scams, contact the Federal Trade Commission at: 877-FTC-HELP (877-382-4357) or visit  To learn about Primerica’s debt solutions, visit

  1. Los Angeles, viewed June 8, 2009
  2., viewed February 25, 2009