The Government National Mortgage Association is better known to most people as GNMA or Ginnie Mae. This government agency buys mortgages from lenders and then pools the loans. From these pools, they sell shares to investors who want a steady rate of return. Ginnie Mae only buys loans backed by federal agencies like the FHA or VA. In 1968, Congress created GNMA out of older programs that needed updating. By protecting mortgage lenders from the risk of loans to low and moderate income individuals, Ginnie Mae helps keep mortgages affordable for everyone. The shares sold by Ginnie Mae are the only mortgage-backed securities backed by the federal government. The stated goal of Ginnie Mae is to be the "Best in Class" conduit for keeping capital in the residential mortgage system without posing a high risk to the taxpayer.