Fannie Mae's New APIs Are Designed to Modernize the Mortgage Lending Industry

The Federal National Mortgage Association, or Fannie Mae, is currently beta testing an API platform that it says will “level the playing field” for lenders in the multi-trillion dollar market for mortgages in the U.S.

Fannie Mae is a government-sponsored enterprise and is a key player in the secondary mortgage market. It buys loans from firms that originate mortgage loans and then packages them up and sells them to investors so that mortgage originators can lend more capital.

It's a complex business and involving many entities, including banks and mortgage serving firms. In an effort to “transform the mortgage process” and “improve the borrower experience”, Fannie Mae is building out an API Platform that it says will enable lenders of all sizes to “plug into Fannie Mae data and technology solutions.”

The first API in the platform, the DU Messages API, gives lenders the ability to access all of the data that is available through Fannie Mae's Desktop Underwriter, an application that lenders use to assess credit risk and determine if a loan meets Fannie Mae's eligibility criteria.

Fannie Mae says the API uses standard data formats and protocols so that lenders can integrate it into their existing systems and workflows “in hours.”

Ultimately, Fannie Mae says that the DU Messages API, which is currently being piloted and is expected to be rolled out globally in 2018, is “the first of many APIs in development with expected rollout in early 2018,” promising mortgage lenders a future in which many of their interactions with Fannie Mae could take place through APIs.

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