We provide liquidity to the housing market. By delivering loans to Fannie Mae, lenders free up funds that they can use for purposes such as additional lending. We bundle the loans we acquire into securities that are sold to investors around the world.
Our charter does not permit us to originate loans or lend money directly to consumers in the primary mortgage market.
Over the years, Congress has changed our corporate status and granted us new authorities. We were established in 1938 as a federal government agency. At first we bought mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). Then we expanded to loans guaranteed by the Veterans Administration (VA).
In 1954, Congress passed the Federal National Mortgage Association Charter Act, which converted us into a public-private, mixed ownership corporation. In 1968, we became entirely privately owned. In 1970, we were authorized to buy conventional mortgages as well as FHA and VA loans.
Pursuant to our charter, we began issuing mortgage-backed securities in the 1980s to provide a greater degree of liquidity to the mortgage investment market. We also issue a variety of debt securities in the domestic and international capital markets to obtain funds to purchase mortgage-related assets for our mortgage portfolio.
We obtain funds to purchase mortgage-related assets for our mortgage portfolio by issuing a variety of debt securities in the domestic and international capital markets.
As it appears here, the Charter Act includes amendments through July 25, 2019. It tells you what Congress expects us to do to promote access to affordable mortgage financing in all markets at all times.
Federal National Mortgage Association Charter Act (PDF)
(As Amended through July 25, 2019)
Page last revised: 11/25/19