SAN FRANCISCO -- The Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. announced a program that will pay lenders a higher price for 20-year mortgages.

The agency said that the move could boost the already rising popularity of the 20-year loans.

Previously, Freddie Mac had treated 20-year mortgages the same as 30-year mortgages. Now, lenders selling the agency 20-year mortgages will receive a higher price because investors are willing to pay a premium for securities backed by mortgages with shorter terms.

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