Fannie Mae and Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, announced efforts to increase homeownership among Native Alaskans.

Fannie Mae will purchase loans under HUD's section 184 Indian housing loan guarantee program. "These loans are especially important in Alaska, because anyone recognized as a Native Alaskan is eligible," Sen. Stevens said.

Unlike conventional loan programs, section 184 loans allow the borrower to combine construction and permanent financing in one loan. In addition, a maximum loan amount up to 150% of the FHA limit is available. Down payments average approximately 3%, and there are no income restrictions.

Borrowers are allowed to finance closing costs as part of the loan, and private mortgage insurance is not required because the loans are guaranteed by HUD.

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