The Federal National Mortgage Association, usually called Fannie Mae, was created by Congress in 1938 but became a private company (under a Federal government charter) in 1968. Fannie Mae raises money from investors and then lends the money to banks and other mortgage lenders. Fannie Mae's underlying purpose is to promote home ownership by ensuring that lenders have adequate capital. The U.S. government took control of Fannie Mae in September, 2008, during an economic panic and crash of the real estate market. In exchange for a capital infusion (FNMA and Freddie Mac together got about $188 billion so they would remain solvent), the Treasury took a new class of "senior preferred" shares that originally paid a 10% dividend. The Federal Housing Finance Agency served as conservator.
Fannie Mae can be reached by calling 1-800-7-FANNIE. Their Web address is www.fanniemae.com.
Rates: Interest rates ("yields") on Fannie Mae loans are reported in the Wall Street Journal's Money and Investing section under "Money Rates." See also "LIBOR Rate" and "Money Rates."
Guides: Fannie Mae publishes several "Guides," including the Fannie Mae Selling Guide, the Fannie Mae Single Family Servicing Guide and the Fannie Mae Multi-Family Servicing Guide. The Guides are available in electronic form through www.allregs.com.
Mortgage-Backed Securities: Fannie Mae sponsors several kinds of mortgage-backed securities, including ARMs and REMICs. Prospectuses and other information are available on the Mortgage-Backed Securities section of the Fannie Mae Web site.