Federal National Mortgage Association (FNMA)

a government-sponsored enterprise, chartered by congress, and commonly referred to as "Fannie Mae." Rather than making home loans directly to consumers, FNMA purchases mortgages in the secondary market from mortgage bankers, brokers and other primary mortgage market partners to help ensure they have funds to lend to home buyers at affordable rates. FNMA funds its mortgage investments primarily by issuing debt securities in the domestic and international capital markets. These securities are backed only by the assets of the corporation, not by the full faith and credit of the Federal government.