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Understanding the Key Difference Between Freddie Mac And Fannie Mae

Updated: Jan 1


Understanding the Key Difference Between Freddie Mac And Fannie Mae

Understanding the difference between Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is crucial in navigating the complex landscape of home mortgages, as these two entities are pivotal in the U.S. housing market. Created by Congress, both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have a significant impact on mortgage lending and borrowing, yet their specific functions and roles often remain unclear to many.


In this article, brought to you by Bennett Capital Partners, we aim to demystify these mortgage giants. We'll provide a comprehensive comparison, tracing their origins and highlighting the unique roles they play in today's mortgage market. Our goal is to offer clear, factual insights and actionable information, helping you make informed decisions in your mortgage journey.


Let's dive into the specifics of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and explore how they shape the borrowing experience.



Key Takeaways


Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae are government - sponsored entities that provide liquidity and stability to the housing market by buying mortgages from lenders and selling them to investors.


The subprime mortgage crisis and housing market crash of 2008 had a significant impact on both Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, leading to changes in guidelines for mortgage approval.


During the COVID - 19 pandemic, both Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae implemented measures to protect homeowners, such as foreclosure moratoriums.


Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae differ in terms of their mortgage sourcing, intended purpose, approval guidelines, lending requirements, and loan programs.



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Background and Histories of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae

Background and Histories of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae

Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, both government-sponsored entities (GSEs), play crucial roles in the mortgage industry by providing liquidity and stability to the housing market.


Functions and roles in the mortgage industry


As major players in the mortgage industry, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac serve crucial roles. They buy mortgages from lenders such as banks and mortgage companies, which gives these institutions fresh funds to lend out again.


Repackaging these purchased mortgages into Mortgage-Backed Securities (MBS), they sell them on to investors while guaranteeing their performance. This process does not only promote liquidity but also encourages a consistent supply of finance for home buyers and investors alike.


Both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac follow standards set by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) for the loans they acquire, ensuring stability in the housing market. Furthermore, with their competitive presence on the secondary mortgage market, these entities contribute to affordable homeownership nationwide.


Impact of the subprime mortgage crisis and the housing market crash of 2008


The subprime mortgage crisis and housing market crash of 2008 had a significant impact on both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. During this tumultuous period, these entities found themselves in the middle of an economic storm.


As the housing market collapsed, they faced overwhelming losses due to their vast holdings of risky mortgages. The Federal Housing Finance Agency placed both organizations into conservatorship as a result of mounting debt, signaling severe financial distress.


With government bailout funds serving as lifelines, they managed to survive and played a crucial role in stabilizing the economy amidst chaos by financing nearly 90% of new mortgages by 2009.


This experience shaped their operations profoundly, leading to changes in guidelines for mortgage approval and assessing borrowers' financial profiles.


Response to the COVID-19 pandemic


During the COVID-19 pandemic, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac swiftly mobilized to ensure homeowners maintained their living arrangements. Both organizations were instrumental in implementing measures from the CARES Act, providing protections for homeowners with mortgages.


These protections included a foreclosure moratorium which halted any proceedings related to foreclosures during this crisis period. A massive number of mortgage borrowers benefited from these relief efforts as it created much-needed stability in an otherwise volatile time.


In essence, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac demonstrated remarkable resilience in response to the global health crisis and played a crucial role by endorsing economic security measures for American households impacted by the pandemic.



Differences Between Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae

Differences Between Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae

Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae differ in terms of their mortgage sourcing and acquisition, intended purpose and mission, approval guidelines and lending requirements, as well as loan programs and offerings.


Mortgage sourcing and acquisition


Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac play crucial roles in the mortgage industry by sourcing and acquiring mortgages. They buy loans from various sources such as banks, savings and loans, and mortgage companies.


This allows them to provide a steady supply of mortgage money for home buyers and investors. Once they acquire these mortgages, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac repackage them into mortgage-backed securities that are then sold to investors.


This process helps ensure liquidity in the market, making it easier for borrowers to access funds for their home purchases.


Intended purpose and mission


Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have a clear mission and purpose in the mortgage industry. They exist to provide stability, affordability, and access to funds for home buyers and investors.


As government-sponsored entities, their main goal is to ensure a steady supply of mortgage money. They do this by purchasing mortgages from lenders and packaging them into mortgage-backed securities that are then sold to investors.


By doing so, they help keep the housing market running smoothly and support the availability of affordable home loans for borrowers.


Both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac play important roles as mortgage investors on the secondary market. They compete with each other while also collaborating to provide liquidity to banks, savings and loans, and mortgage companies.


Their intended purpose is not only to buy mortgages but also to guarantee them, offering stability in an often-volatile market.


Approval guidelines and lending requirements


Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have specific approval guidelines and lending requirements that borrowers must meet in order to obtain a mortgage. These guidelines include factors such as credit score, debt-to-income ratio, employment history, and down payment amount.


Both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac require borrowers to have a good credit score, typically around 620 or higher. They also consider the borrower's debt-to-income ratio, which is the percentage of monthly income that goes towards paying off debts.


Additionally, they require borrowers to have a stable employment history and provide documentation of income. The down payment requirement varies depending on the type of loan program and other factors, but it is generally recommended to have at least 3-5% of the purchase price saved up for a down payment.


Loan programs and offerings


Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac offer a range of loan programs to help borrowers find the right mortgage for their needs. Fannie Mae provides the HomeReady® mortgage, which is designed to support low- and moderate-income borrowers with lower down payment requirements.


On the other hand, Freddie Mac offers government-sponsored mortgages, including conventional loans that can be backed by either Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. These loan programs provide flexibility and options for borrowers looking to finance their home purchase or refinance an existing mortgage.


Whether you're a first-time homebuyer or a seasoned homeowner, both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have loan offerings that can meet your unique financial situation.




Similarities Between Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae

Similarities Between Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae

Both Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae have overlapping functions and shared objectives in the mortgage market.


Overlapping functions and shared objectives


Both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac share overlapping functions and have shared objectives in the mortgage market. They were both created by the U.S. Congress to provide liquidity, stability, and affordability to the housing industry.


Both agencies purchase mortgages from lenders and repackage them as mortgage-backed securities for sale to investors. By doing so, they help ensure that financial institutions have ready access to funds and guarantees for their loan portfolios.


Additionally, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac compete with each other on the secondary mortgage market, which fosters healthy competition while fulfilling their mission of supporting homeownership in America.


Collaboration and coordination in the mortgage market


Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac play a key role in promoting collaboration and coordination in the mortgage market. As government-sponsored enterprises, they work closely with lenders, banks, savings and loans institutions, and mortgage companies to ensure the smooth functioning of the housing finance system.


By purchasing mortgages from these sources, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac provide liquidity to the market, allowing lenders to free up capital for new loans. This collaboration helps maintain stability and accessibility in the mortgage market for borrowers like you.



Conclusion

Conclusion

In conclusion, understanding the key differences between Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae is essential for mortgage borrowers. These two government-sponsored entities play crucial roles in the mortgage market by providing liquidity and stability.


While their functions may overlap, they have distinct purposes, lending requirements, and loan programs. By knowing these differences, borrowers can make informed decisions when seeking financing options.


So, whether it's a conventional loan with Fannie Mae or a home loan backed by Freddie Mac, borrowers can navigate the mortgage market more effectively.



Key Terms and Concepts


Both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, often referred to as Fannie and Freddie or simply fannie or freddie mac, are government-sponsored entities. Congress created Fannie Mae first to bring stability and affordability to the mortgage market. Recognizing its success, Freddie Mac was created later to provide competition to Fannie Mae.


These entities, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, often discussed in terms of fannie mae vs. freddie mac, play a pivotal role as home mortgage companies. Specifically, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae are integral to the housing finance system. Freddie Mac also has its distinct functions in the market, and Freddie also plays a unique role.


Mortgage lenders, including banks, often sell their mortgage loans to these entities. Fannie Mae not only buys mortgages from banks but also buys mortgage loans from various lenders, especially buys loans from smaller banks. In fact, Fannie Mae buys mortgages regularly to ensure liquidity. On the other hand, Freddie Mac buys loans from different sources. Neither Fannie Mae nor Freddie Mac is a direct lender, but they play a crucial role in ensuring liquidity in the mortgage market.


One of the primary functions of both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is to package the loans into mortgage-backed securities (MBS). These MBS, often mortgages backed by Fannie Mae and backed by Fannie Mae, represent an interest on the underlying mortgages. By turning mortgages into MBS, they help diversify and spread the risk in the financial market. They buy and sell home loans to maintain a fluid housing market.


Both entities offer special programs for homebuyers. Freddie Mac offers the Home Possible® mortgage, while Fannie Mae offers the HomeReady® program. It's even possible for consumers to buy a mortgage directly from Fannie Mae. Additionally, while they are significant players, they operate alongside other entities like the FHA and

Ginnie Mae, also known as the Government National Mortgage Association.

While Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are often discussed together, it's essential to understand what’s the difference and what's the difference between them.


They have many similarities between Fannie Mae and Freddie, but the difference is that Fannie and Freddie Mac were created by Congress at different times for varying purposes. Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae are two entities that, together with Ginnie Mae, form the backbone of the U.S. housing finance system. Both Fannie Mae helps and Freddie Mac helps in achieving this mission.


Mae and Freddie Mac also play a significant role in shaping the housing finance landscape. Many people like Fannie Mae for its innovative programs and offerings. Both Fannie Mae’s and Freddie Mac’s missions are centered around ensuring stability in the housing market. As home mortgage companies, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae are two pillars in the industry.


They are government-sponsored entities that have shaped the U.S. housing market for decades. Fannie Mae also sets standards for the loans they purchase, ensuring they meet specific criteria for safety and reliability. It's worth noting that Freddie Mac are home mortgage companies that, along with Fannie Mae, play a pivotal role in the U.S. housing market. These government-sponsored entities, Freddie Mac are two of the most influential players in the mortgage industry.



FAQs


What are Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac?


Fannie Mae, the Federal National Mortgage Association, and Freddie Mac, the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, are home mortgage companies created by Congress to expand the secondary mortgage market.


How did Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac start?


Fannie Mae was created during the Great Depression to support smaller banks with affordable mortgages while Freddie Mac was formed later to provide competition in this space.


What is the key difference between Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac?


The primary difference lies in whom they buy their loans from: Fannie Mae mostly buys loans from commercial banks whereas Freddie Mac generally purchases loans from smaller banks.


Are all Mortgages backed by these entities similar?


No! While both organizations buy conventional mortgages that meet their standards then package these into mortgage-backed securities (MBS), there can be differences based on individual lending policies of different sources from where they purchase.


Do either of them offer unique programs for buyers directly?


Yes! For example, Fannie Mae offers a program called "HomeReady®" whereas one could consider buying a mortgage directly through some specific programs offered by Freddie mac as well.


Can anyone buy offerings directly from either entity?


Usually, neither institution deals with individuals directly; instead they primarily interact with other institutions by purchasing their qualifying conforming loan products which essentially introduce reliability and affordability to the broader mortgage market




 
Philip Bennett

Philip Bennett


Philip is the owner and Licensed Mortgage Broker at Bennett Capital Partners, Bus. NMLS # 2046828. He earned his degree in Accounting and Finance from Binghamton University and holds a Master's Degree in Finance from NOVA Southeastern University. With more than 20 years of experience, Philip has been a leader in the mortgage industry. He has personally originated over $2 billion in residential and commercial mortgages.


Learn more about Philip Bennett's background and experience on our Founder's page. Whether you're a first-time homebuyer or a seasoned real estate investor, our team is here to help you achieve your real estate goals. Don't wait any longer, contact us today and let us help you find the right mortgage for your needs.


Discover helpful tips and tricks on mortgages by reading our blog posts


Freddie Mac Home Possible Mortgage Program: Everything You Need to Know To learn more about the freddie mac home possible mortgage one of the most popular first time home buyer programs. Click here to read the full article


What is a Non Conforming Loan: A Comprehensive Guide To learn more about non conforming mortgages. Click here to read the full article


Non-Warrantable Condominium Financing: What You Need to Know To learn more about nonwarrantable condo financing. Click here to read the full article


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