Is Primerica a Pyramid Scheme or MLM? [Review]

If you’re like most people, you’ve probably heard of Primerica from a friend or family member. They offer insurance, investment, and financial services. Now, you might be thinking about working from home and making some extra cash, and Primerica seems like an attractive opportunity. But is it worth your time?

As an online entrepreneur, I have reviewed many similar online opportunities over the years. So I can tell you what you need to know.

I’m not affiliated with Primerica in any way, which means I can give you an honest and unbiased review. I’ll also share with you the best alternative to Primerica that has helped me make a full-time passive income online.

So, before you decide to join Primerica, read on to learn more about this company and whether it’s worth your time.

What is Primerica?

Primerica is a company that provides insurance, investment, and financial services to middle-income families in the United States and Canada. They’re the parent company of National Benefit Life Insurance Company, Primerica Life, Peach Re, and Vidalia Re. Oh, and they went public in 2010!

Primerica’s products are designed with middle-income families in mind. They offer term life insurance, annuities, and financial investments. However, they don’t offer permanent policies like universal or whole life insurance. Instead, they actively promote term life insurance.

Now, let’s talk about Primerica’s term life insurance policies. They’re not necessarily bad, but their prices are on the high side. Additionally, some people in the insurance industry question the company’s sales tactics. As a result, Primerica has gained a bit of a bad reputation among insurance insiders.

Despite this, Primerica is still going strong. In fact, in 2021, they earned a whopping $900 billion from active term life insurance! That’s quite impressive if you ask me.

Overall, Primerica is a company that aims to help middle-income families manage their finances. While their term life insurance policies may be pricier than some competitors, they may still be a good option for some people.

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Is Primerica An MLM?

Yes, Primerica is an MLM. Many reputable companies, particularly in the banking and insurance industries, use the MLM business model.

In an MLM or network marketing company, sales representatives build teams of salespeople who report to them and share in the revenue generated by those teams. The representatives earn commissions based on the sales of their downline recruits. While a rep’s primary goal is to recruit new salespeople to their team, they also sell insurance policies.

It’s true that some reps may resort to emotional manipulation when recruiting friends and family members, but this is not unique to Primerica. In fact, it happens in many other businesses, too.

One potential downside of Primerica’s MLM model is that their agents may not have the same level of knowledge about life insurance as more traditional agents. And if you have questions about your coverage, Primerica customer service may not always provide the guidance you need.

That said, having a large downline is critical for success in an MLM company like Primerica. So if you’re considering joining, be prepared to build a team and put in the work to make it successful.

You may also want to read our article on the top MLM companies.

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Is Primerica A Pyramid Scheme?

No, Primerica is not a pyramid scheme. It’s a common misconception due to the way they operate. However, it’s important to note that the difference between a pyramid scheme and a legitimate multi-level marketing (MLM) company is in the products and services they offer.

In a pyramid scheme, recruiters promise huge returns on investments, which is why they’re illegal. The people at the top of the pyramid recruit new investors and earn a percentage of their returns, making it a cycle of growth and profit. Unfortunately, products and services are usually not delivered as promised, and it can be costly to join.

Primerica, on the other hand, is a legitimate MLM company that sells insurance and financial products. To become a Primerica representative, you need to pay a one-time fee of $99 for a background check, and $25 monthly fees for marketing resources. However, recruiters don’t earn a share of early contributions, and the commission structure is based on sales of products.

Primerica sales representatives earn commissions on both their own sales and the sales of their recruits. While MLMs can have higher initial investments than conventional businesses, it’s important to note that Primerica’s business model is not a pyramid scheme.

It’s always wise to be cautious of MLM companies, as they can increase prices for end consumers. However, Primerica’s model is a legitimate one, and the company has been around for over 40 years. It’s always a good idea to do your own research before investing your time and money in any business opportunity.

Is Primerica a Scam?

No, Primerica is not a scam. It’s a legit insurance company that offers financial products and services using a multi-level marketing approach.

It’s worth noting that Primerica’s sales model is not for everyone. To make a living as a Primerica representative requires hard work and dedication. Although some people do make a lot of money through the company, it’s usually by putting in significant effort and advertising aggressively.

While Primerica’s term life insurance has received criticism, the company’s representatives claim that anything beyond term life insurance is not as desirable since the profit margin is lower. However, the company doesn’t offer life insurance quotes on its website, making it difficult to compare prices with other insurers.

Several lawsuits were filed against Primerica in 2012. These allegations claimed that Primerica’s representatives tried to persuade Florida firefighters, teachers, and other public employees to switch from safe, government-backed annuity investments to Primerica’s high-risk annuity products for commission.

Despite the lawsuits, Primerica remains a legitimate insurance company, and many people have found success as part-time or full-time representatives. However, like any business, it’s essential to research and understand the company before deciding to join.

What Does Primerica Offer?

Primerica is a financial services company that offers a variety of products to help you manage your finances. Here’s a rundown of some of their most popular offerings:

Financial Needs Analysis

Primerica’s Financial Needs Analysis (FNA) is a tool that helps identify gaps in your insurance and investment plan. It’s used to give their representatives a starting point for finding solutions that fit your needs.

Term Life Insurance

If you’re looking for term life insurance, Primerica has a good product. However, their prices are higher than the market average by up to 29% for a simple plan.


Primerica’s investment and annuity offerings are managed by their financial investment sales department, PFS Investments Inc. dba Primerica Advisors. They act as intermediaries between larger mutual funds and the insurance company, but don’t have ownership in this arrangement.

Auto & Homeowners Insurance

Primerica Secure is their auto and homeowners insurance referral program that connects customers to Answer Financial. If you go through their agents to purchase insurance, they’ll earn a small fee.

Long-Term Care Insurance

Long-term care insurance pays policyholders a daily amount for services such as bathing, dressing, and eating. Primerica offers a range of care options and benefits to fit your needs.

Primerica Debtwatchers

Debtwatchers is one of Primerica’s newest products. It’s an online tool they developed in collaboration with Equifax to help you figure out how much debt you have and create a plan to pay it off quickly.

Primerica Legal Protection Program

Primerica also offers a Pre-Paid Legal Provider’s product. Pre-Paid Legal/LegalShield is a company that offers basic legal services as a monthly membership and provides discounts to lawyers in their network.

ID Theft Defense

ID Theft Defense is another service offered by Primerica. It functions similarly to LifeLock and helps protect you from identity theft. While some financial institutions offer this service for free or at a reduced cost, Primerica’s product may be a good option for additional protection.

How Much Money Can You Make With Primerica?

Primerica is not a get-rich-quick scheme, despite what some representatives may tell you. The company has released reports showing that the average salary for a licensed rep ranges from $415 to $583 per month, which isn’t enough to live on even if you work full-time.

Furthermore, Primerica’s entry-level commission structure is lower than what you’ll find in other financial services sectors. Primerica insurance agents typically receive between 25% and 30% first-year commission on all policies sold in the first year, which isn’t great.

There is a possibility that reps may make more money if they meet their production and recruitment goals, but that’s not a guarantee. It takes hard work and dedication to succeed in any MLM model, and Primerica is no exception. Selling products and recruiting new agents are the only ways to earn money in this business.

Unfortunately, if you’re not making sales or recruiting new agents, you won’t get paid. This can lead to desperation and a bad reputation for the company. It seems like it’s easier to make money with Primerica by recruiting new agents than by making sales, which is something the company team strongly encourages.

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How Much Does It Cost To Join Primerica?

To get started as a Primerica recruiter, you’ll need to pay a one-time fee of $99. That’s it! After that, if you want to continue working as a recruiter, you’ll need to pay $25 per month. 

But here’s the good news: you won’t have to pay any extra fees, and you won’t be required to sell or buy any particular products each month in order to stay active.

Primerica Compensation Plan

If you’re looking to make some extra cash with Primerica, then you’ll want to understand their compensation plan. It’s pretty straightforward, and there are four main ways you can earn a commission.

First up is sales commissions on insurance. Basically, if you sell any type of financial plan, you’ll get compensated for it. Easy enough, right?

Next, there are overrides on your downline’s insurance sales. You’ll get a 10% override commission on any sales that are generated by the people you’ve brought into the business.

You can also earn money by helping your downline sell insurance. This is called differentials from downline’s insurance sales, and it’s a great way to earn passive income.

Finally, you can earn a commission on any other Primerica product you sell. So, if you’re a great salesperson and you’re passionate about the products, you can make some serious cash.

Overall, the Primerica compensation plan is designed to reward hard work and dedication. So, if you’re willing to put in the effort, you can definitely earn some extra money with this company.

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The Drawbacks of Joining Primerica

If you’re considering joining Primerica, you might want to think again. Here are a few reasons why it might not be worth your while:

Very Few People Make Money With Primerica

It’s tough to succeed with an MLM company like Primerica. According to statistics, anywhere from 72.5% to 99.9% of MLM members lose money. The reason for this is that MLMs require their members to maintain sales quotas to be eligible for commissions. If they don’t meet the quota, they won’t get paid. As a result, many members lose a lot of money before even recruiting a single person into the company.

Losses From Primerica Program Are Reframed As Investments

Primerica uplines might reframe their financial losses as ‘investments’ to keep their reps in an MLM scheme, promising them financial freedom in the future. But the reality is that these are not investments, and the return is negative in most cases. So saying that it’s an investment is misleading.

Primerica is a Cult

MLMs like Primerica have a cult-like company culture. Critical thinking is actively discouraged among MLM representatives. They are chastised and even isolated when they ask questions that deviate from the ‘this company is a-mazing’ mindset. MLMs, like abusive partners, encourage you to isolate yourself from anyone who questions your involvement. 

Those who leave an MLM are labeled as failures or bad people/influences, and reps are not allowed to contact them. This leads to rejection from people they once considered family and friends, and it can be devastating for former MLM representatives.

You May Need to Purchase Primerica Products Yourself

If you don’t have a large network of friends, family, neighbors, and so on, you may have to buy products yourself each month. This can be quite expensive and is a losing proposition all around. It’s also ridiculous to have to buy the products you’re trying to sell.

In conclusion, joining Primerica might not be the best idea for everyone. It’s important to do your research and consider all the pros and cons before making a decision.

Overpriced Products

Like other MLMs, Primerica’s products can be overpriced compared to similar products available in the market. For instance, their term life insurance policy can be up to 29% more expensive than the industry average. 

Furthermore, Primerica scores poorly in the J.D. Power life insurance customer satisfaction study, and many customers voice their complaints online through the BBB. This could make it harder for you to sell Primerica products since customers can find the same products elsewhere for a lower price.

Bad Reputation

Primerica’s MLM business model has a bad reputation, and many people do not consider it to be a legitimate business opportunity. The distribution of commissions is skewed toward the top, with those at the bottom struggling to make any profit.

Pyramid Scheme in Disguise

Although Primerica is not a traditional pyramid scheme, it does require you to recruit people to make money. This could put a lot of pressure on you to recruit as many people as possible to avoid losing money every month. The emphasis on recruitment is also evident in the fact that eight out of ten ways to earn money with Primerica require recruiting.

Recruiting is Required to Succeed

If you don’t recruit people, it’s likely that you’ll lose money at the end of the day. This can make it difficult for those who are not comfortable with recruiting to succeed in the business.

Customer Complaints

Primerica has received many customer complaints in the last three years, with a large proportion of them related to the products and services offered. F

urthermore, the company only offers term life insurance, which customers must renew regularly, carrying the risk that Primerica will reject the policy based on pre-existing conditions.

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Primerica Settles Lawsuits And Faces Complaints From Customers

Primerica has faced several legal issues over the years. In 2014, they had to settle 238 lawsuits from Florida state employees for a total of $15.4 million. 

Another case involving Primerica came to light when Miriam Arellano filed a lawsuit against the company in 2014. She had met with a salesperson twice to purchase life insurance for her husband. After filling out the application and medical questionnaire, she was told that they qualified for a $100,000 policy. But she had doubts about the premium being too high.

After further discussions, they agreed to increase the coverage to $150,000 for a slightly higher premium. Unfortunately, there was some confusion, and the application got canceled. Sadly, Mr. Arellano died unexpectedly before the policy could take effect, and the death benefit application was denied by Primerica because there was no active policy.

Arellano sued Primerica for breach of contract and bad faith, and the court ruled in her favor. Primerica had to pay her $40,000.

Despite these legal issues, Primerica has been in business for 43 years and has an A+ rating from BBB since 1980. However, the company has received around 100 complaints during that time, mostly involving product offerings or billing practices. For example, customers have complained about the cancellation of their insurance policy due to a delay in submitting direct deposit information or issues with timely mutual fund releases.

So, while Primerica has settled lawsuits and faced complaints from customers, it has still managed to maintain a good rating from the BBB.

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Should You Join Primerica?

So, you’re considering joining Primerica as a representative? Well, before you make a decision, let’s go over some important details that will help you make an informed choice.

Fees and Schedule

First things first, when you sign up as a Primerica representative, you’ll be responsible for your own time and efforts. You’ll need to obtain your insurance license, which costs around $99, but Primerica won’t cover this cost for you.

However, the great thing about being a Primerica representative is that you have complete control over your income. You get to choose your own hours, schedule, and work methods. The amount of money you earn depends solely on your sales and the sales of those you bring into the company.

But here’s the catch: generating leads is up to you. Unfortunately, my research shows that Primerica doesn’t provide many resources or training on how to generate leads.

Pitching to Friends and Family

Primerica recommends that you focus on your “warm market,” meaning the people in your personal and professional network. Assuming you pass the training, you’ll be constantly trying to sell products and invite people to join your team.

This sales strategy takes advantage of the relationships you already have with potential customers. But remember, this isn’t required, just highly recommended.

Working Culture

Primerica gives its licensed representatives the autonomy and independence that many people find attractive. However, some workers have complained about the intense pressure and “cult-like” atmosphere.

Before you decide whether Primerica is right for you, take everything with a grain of salt and do your own research on unbiased websites.

In summary, working at Primerica may or may not be a good fit for you. It all depends on your ability to attract new customers and vendors. You should only join Primerica if you’re up to the task, have experience selling to people in your “warm market,” and share the same values as the company.

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Final Verdict

Well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but I don’t recommend Primerica. Here’s why.

First of all, let’s talk about the beginning stages. It’s tough. You’ll be out there trying to find recruiters to add to your Primerica commission, and it’s not easy. You might even have to ask your family and friends to join your business opportunity, which can be awkward and uncomfortable.

On top of that, your upline will constantly be following up with you to buy more Business Support Material, even when you’re struggling to get people to join your downline. It’s not a great feeling, and the reality is that you’re likely to lose more money than you’ll make.

In fact, statistics show that 99% of people who join MLM programs like Primerica either break even or lose money. Yikes. That’s not a great track record.

People who join these MLM-type businesses often feel under pressure to succeed, and that can lead to burnout and ultimately, leaving the program altogether.

So, what should you do instead? Consider starting your own online business. It’s a great way to earn money and have a flexible schedule, without the pressure of recruiting others into a program.

In the next section, I’ll show you how to build an online business in a legit way to make passive income online. I’ve been able to make a full-time income in a year using these methods, and best of all, it’s 100% legit and sustainable. Say goodbye to MLMs and hello to your own successful online business!

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Is There a Better Way to Make Money Online?

If you’re starting your online business journey, you might be wondering where to begin. Let me tell you, there’s a program out there that beats Primerica by a mile. It’s called Wealthy Affiliate and it’s my #1 recommended platform for building your affiliate marketing business from scratch.

You may read our article about the difference between MLM and affiliate marketing.

Wealthy Affiliate is an all-in-one platform that provides you with everything you need to create and grow your online business. When you join Wealthy Affiliate, you’ll get access to first-class web hosting service, keyword research tools, community support, comprehensive training, writing tools, and other software to help you build an online business step-by-step.

And here’s the best part: you can register a free account with Wealthy Affiliate, which enables you to get started with affiliate marketing right away without paying a penny. If you like the platform, you can upgrade to the premium membership to get access to everything on the platform. There are no upsells afterwards.

Now, you might be wondering how much you can earn with Wealthy Affiliate. Well, let me tell you that there are many success stories in the past decade. 

A 21-year old student from Wealthy Affiliate was able to earn $7,395 in just 1 week, which means he made more than $1k a day…all while applying what is taught inside Wealthy Affiliate. And there are many other inspiring success stories of Wealthy Affiliate members.

You can read our full review of Wealthy Affiliate here.

Wealthy Affiliate Testimonial

Wealthy Affiliate has been around for 15 years and has more than a million members, so you can see how popular this platform is. To join Wealthy Affiliate, you just need to sign up for the free starter membership (no credit card required). As a starter member, you’ll get access to the community, live chat, over 500 training modules, 2 classrooms, networking, commenting, 1 free website, access to the keyword tool, and much more.

The premium membership only costs $49/month or $395/year, and it’s totally worth it if you’re serious about building a successful online business. But you can enjoy all these values as a free member with no time limit, so I strongly recommend you to register a free account and see it yourself.

Upgrade your online business game with Wealthy Affiliate, and let’s make some money together!

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