Defining Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is not a matter of “who”, but a matter of “what”. Fannie Mae is a nickname for the Federal National Mortgage Association (FNMA). Freddie Mac is a nickname for the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (FHLMC). Both the FNMA and the FHLMC are home mortgage companies that were created by U.S. Congress. They do not originate or service mortgages, instead they buy and guarantee mortgages from the secondary mortgage market. The secondary mortgage market is where home loans and mortgage servicing rights are bought and sold between lenders and investors. This is great for homeowners because the secondary mortgage market creates competition in the mortgage industry and is responsible for encouraging lower interest rates.