Federal Lending Programs

Direct arms of the federal government have made or guaranteed outstanding loans of nearly $1.5 trillion. Lending is principally focused on four areas, although smaller amounts are lent for some other programs. The major areas are:


Programs Outstanding Volume
Home Mortgages $839 billion
Student Loans $352 billion
Business Loans $110 billion
Agricultural and Rural Loans $110 billion

Loans or guarantees are made through many different federal entities. These entities range from programs within Cabinet departments, to independent agencies, to federal corporations.

Comprehensive listing of federal credit programs

A listing of federal credit programs, organized within their departments, agencies and corporations. We provide an explanation of their purposes and a link to their websites, where available. Download PDF version

Our thanks to the Office of Management and Budget, for their excellent spreadsheet on federal credit programs (available at FY 2006 President's Budget website), which we used as a starting point. Please also see www.govloans.gov for additional information on loan programs administered by the Departments of Agriculture, Education, Housing and Urban Development, and Veterans Affairs, as well as the Small Business Administration. That site is organized to assist potential borrowers.

Quantitative information on federal credit programs

A spreadsheet containing detailed information about loan and guarantee volumes, budget subsidies, and other details of the federal credit programs. Download XLS [Excel] version

Please note that the spreadsheet provides information on over 200 individual credit programs, organized by Department, Agency and Program. You may view the details at various levels of aggregation, ranging from one grand total to more than 200 individual credit programs by clicking on the small squares labeled "1"(Grand Total only), "2" (View totals by Department), "3" (View totals by Agency), "4" (View totals by Program) and "5" (All Information) in the upper left hand corner of the spreadsheet. To view or suppress details by category, click on the "+" (expand) or "-" (suppress) squares in the shaded right columns.

We have relied heavily on information from the OMB spreadsheet in creating this unique view of federal lending.

Budgeting for federal lending programs

Publications concerning how the federal government budgets for its lending and insurance activities. Find them in our Budgeting section.

Federal Lending Program Summaries

Summaries of selected federal lending programs describing their overall structure, individual loan programs, financial status, budget impacts, and current issues.

Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Loans
The USDA provides guaranteed and direct loans to farmers for disaster assistance, operating costs, farm ownership, exports, and commodity protection. Download PDF version

Department of Education

Student Loans
The Dept. of Ed provides Perkins direct, Ford direct, and FFEL guaranteed student loans. Go to Student Loan Publications

Department of Housing and Urban Development

Federal Housing Administration
The FHA provides guaranteed and direct loans for single- and mutil-family housing as well as health care. Download PDF version

Government National Mortgage Association
Ginnie Mae reinsures mortgage backed securities issued by various other federal guaranteed loan programs. Download PDF version

Small Business Administration

Business and Disaster Assistance Loans
The SBA provides guaranteed loans to support small business development and direct loans to assist uninsured homeowners and businessowners in rebuilding after a disaster. Download PDF version

Department of Veteran Affairs

Housing and Education Loans
The VA provides guaranteed and direct loans to support veteran homeownership and vocational training. Download PDF version