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Native Americans and Mortgages

American Indians, while still falling below many minorities, have several avenues open to them to facilitate acceptance of mortgage applications. The Federal Govt. has established these agencies in response to problems American Indians may face when applying for a traditional mortgage. American Indians can face extraordinary difficulties in obtaining a traditional mortgage due to economic depression in tribal lands and unfair lending practices.

HUD provides Native Americanís with recourse to mortgages through the establishment of its Office of Native American Programs, or ONAP. ONAP offers American Indians several options in mortgage types, loan duration, interest rates and amount of down payment. HUDís ONAP can be accessed through mail, in person or through Web access; in addition, many websites offer a rundown of the benefits of ONAPís loans providing valuable information to American Indians interested in HUDís mortgage loans. Some of the benefits from using HUDís One Stop Mortgage Center are zero down payment, potential refinancing, mobile home financing and veterans programs.

A partnership between the Native American Bank, LenderLive and Greenpoint Mortgage has resulted in turnkey home mortgages for American Indians for a number of purposes like rehabilitation, refinancing and home buying. This partnership provides American Indians with great resources to help in getting a home loan. The Native American Bank is now in position to be the number one lender to American Indians and to reap the rewards of serving this growing sector of the industry.

The Fannie Mae Organization has also created mortgage programs for Native Americans. These do not have as broad a spectrum as the HUD loans and some of the terms may be somewhat less attractive but they are quality mortgage loans offered at good rates. The Fannie Mae organization is a well respected entity in the nation, providing loans and mortgage information to people nationwide.

Freddie Mac also has a specialty division to assist American Indians with attaining a home mortgage. They provide access to HUD loans and several other programs designed to help Native Americans. This institution provides information to help Native Americans understand the options available to them and the difference between what once was and what the industry has become today. Home loans to Native Americans consistently fall behind mortgages to whites and several other minorities. The programs listed above were designed with this in mind, to bolster the numbers of American Indianís successful loan applications. Traditionally, American Indians have been poorly received by many institutions due to tribal autonomy, poor economy in tribal lands and other issues of concern.

One of the factors behind Native Americansí difficulty in obtaining mortgage loans is the situation on tribal lands. Many times, the economy of these lands is depressed, leading to low paying jobs and high unemployment rates. The American Indians have begun a promising change, however. Jobless rates, though still worse than national levels, are plunging. Social reforms, land acquisition and internal tribal change are revitalizing tribal lands and thus the economy and feasibility of acquiring home loans. Many groups are beginning to recognize the potential of the Native American peoples and are actively courting their interest.

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