Fannie Mae – Supporting Homeownership Through Mortgages

The federal national mortgage association, better known as Fannie Mae, is an integral part of the mortgage industry. Here’s an overview on Fannie Mae and what it does.

Fannie Mae – Providing A Little Help

Throughout the history of the United States, federal and state governments have used financial programs to modify our behavior. While it sounds draconian, it is actually a fairly bland concept. To stop us from undertaking bad or unhealthy behavior, taxes are levied on things such as cigarettes to motivate us to stop smoking. On the positive side, similar financial incentives are create to promote positive things such as homeownership.

Homeownership is often referred to as the American Dream. In truth, it is one of the key factors in maintaining a middle class in our country. Homeownership is, more or less, an involuntary savings plan for most Americans. Property appreciates over time which means you are gaining wealth regardless of what you are doing with your credit cards.

Today, more of us own homes than at any point in history. This is due to a number of factors, one of which is the broad availability of mortgages in which we can borrow large sums of money over long periods of time. The federal government through Fannie Mae among other institutions promotes this opportunity.

A common mistake is to assume Fannie Mae is a government entity. It is not. The company is a publicly traded entity just like Microsoft, Google or your favorite stock.

A second misconception is that Fannie Mae provides mortgages directly to borrowers. Again, it does not. Instead, the company provides liquidity to mortgage lenders so they can continue to provide you with home loans.

Fannie Mae was created in 1938 by the federal government. Its purpose was to provide liquidity [money] to a secondary mortgage market. If you’ve ever had a mortgage, you probably have experienced the odd event where your mortgage is sold to another lender. These secondary lenders rarely work directly with the public. Instead, they buy mortgages after the application process and collect the payments. In creating Fannie Mae, the government desired to make sure there was enough money in the secondary market to keep the mortgage industry operating smoothly. To this end, Fannie Mae was specifically charged with the task of buying mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration, better known as FHA.

In 1968, Fannie Mae went private and expanded the secondary mortgage operation by purchasing both FHA loans and non-FHA instruments. This evolution made Fannie Mae a major player in the mortgage industry. Since going public, it has purchased more than 63 million mortgages, which has helped put a lot of our fannies in homes.

While Fannie Mae is a publicly traded company, it is still tied to the federal government through a congressional charter. The charter allows Congress to oversee Fannie Mae and make sure it is following its initial purpose. Fannie Mae, however, receives none of our taxes.

About the Author:

Dan Lewis is with – a San Diego mortgage brokers providing San Diego home loans. Visit to learn more about options on San Diego mortgages from a San Diego mortgage broker company.

Written by: Dave Lewis

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.