You’re likely to come across Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac as you explore your mortgage options. Although you won’t directly obtain a home loan through either, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are key players in the mortgage market. Let’s take a closer look at these government-sponsored enterprises, or GSEs.
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac: Overview
In 1938, the government created Fannie Mae, or the Federal National Mortgage Association, amid the struggles of the Great Depression. The goal of Fannie Mae was to create a more reliable source of funding for homebuyers, opening doors for more Americans, figuratively and literally.
Freddie Mac, short for the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, came on the scene through an act of Congress in 1970, with a similar purpose. Both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac now operate under the conservatorship of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA).