January 19, 2017

3 Benefits of Credit Risk Transfer

Last year, we transferred a significant portion of credit risk on nearly $215 billion residential mortgages. Since we began our program in 2013, we have led the market in credit risk transfer on approximately $602 billion mortgages.

3 Benefits of Credit Risk Transfer

It's clear that credit risk transfer is changing the way the U.S. residential housing market is funded.  It has 3 main benefits:

  • Shifts credit risk away from taxpayers. This is clearly the biggest benefit. In the past, Freddie Mac transferred the interest rate risk, but retained the credit risk associated with the mortgages we purchased. Today, we're also transferring a significant portion of the mortgage credit risk to private investors. Since we started our credit risk transfer program in 2013, we've raised about $25 billion of loss protection for taxpayers against future residential mortgage defaults.
  • Creates new opportunities for investors. Our growing and evolving credit risk transfer program enables us to reach an expanding and diverse investor base, many of which have not historically invested in agency single–family mortgage credit risk. We now have more than 200 unique investors, including money managers, alternate investment funds, insurance and reinsurance companies and real estate investment trusts (REITs). A bigger pool of investors also means we are able to disperse risk more widely.
  • Strengthens the mortgage market. In addition to shielding taxpayers from losses, our strong risk management approach underlying this evolving funding model also helps to build a more robust system that can keep overall mortgage rates low for America's borrowers and lower costs for investors. In addition, it's more flexible and better able to weather dynamic market and economic conditions.

Want to learn how it works? Check out our video and infographic.