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Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac

Enacted by Congress at different times in history to help citizens achieve the dream of homeownership, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac provide liquidity, stability, and affordability to the greater mortgage market.

Both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are mortgage-backing entities that aim to boost the housing market—but each does so in a unique way. Let’s delve into how each of these lend an assist to your journey toward homeownership.

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Fannie Mae (Federal National Mortgage Association)

  • A key mechanism for facilitating homeownership
  • The largest backer of 30-year fixed-rate mortgages
  • Provides funding for mortgages by purchasing loans from banks and other lenders 
  • Sells purchased mortgages as mortgage-backed securities to investors—this helps build liquidity in the mortgage market, which means more loans and housing affordability

Fannie Mae boasts many programs for both first-time and repeat homebuyers. Some of these products are intended to help you buy a home or refinance with a lower rate or even assist you in purchasing real estate owned (REO) property. Click here for a full listing of Fannie Mae mortgage products.

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Happy young couple calculating bills at home

Freddie Mac (Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation)

  • Created as part of the Emergency Home Finance Act as a way to expand the country’s secondary mortgage market
  • Purchases bundled home mortgages as mortgage-backed securities, primarily from smaller banks and savings and loans
  • Helps lenders mitigate risks and makes funds available for loans 

Freddie Mac offers an array of products and services, all aimed at assisting borrowers in different ways. These innovative mortgage offerings address an array of situations, like financial assistance, renovations, cash-out refinances, and more. Click here for a full listing of Freddie Mac products. 

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Requirements For Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac Loans


Credit Score

A median FICO credit score of at least 620, from the three major credit bureaus

Debt-To-Income Ratio

Your DTI, which compares monthly debt to before-tax monthly income, should be no higher than 50%.

Down Payment

A necessary down payment could be anywhere from 3% to 5%.

Money In Reserve

In case of financial hardship, lenders like to see around 2 to 6 months of reserves in your back account.