HARDIN, Mont. -- The first conventional (or non-government-backed) loan was closed in Montana on the Crow reservation thanks to a partnership between the Crow Tribe, Fannie Mae and First Interstate Bank. Closing on the loan was scheduled for March 3 at First Interstate Bank's Hardin branch.
Many American Indians in the United States find that access to mortgage credit is limited because they live on lands that were reserved for them by treaty or federal law. But through the Native American Conventional Lending Initiative, Fannie Mae, working with local lenders, has opened the door to conventional lending on tribal trust or restricted lands.
Mary Lou Affleck, Fannie Mae's Community Business Officer for Montana, said the NACLI is part of Fannie Mae's American Dream Commitment to tackle America's toughest housing problems. "The purpose of this initiative is to increase homeownership rates nationwide among Native Americans, rural residents, minority borrowers, and others whose homeownership rates lag the general population. We are pleased that through our partnership with the Crow Tribe and First Interstate Bank, we are able to close our first conventional loan on tribal trust land in Montana on the Crow Reservation."
First Interstate Bank's Community Development Officer, Maria Valandra, said First Interstate is equally pleased about this first conventional loan to be made on tribal trust land. "First Interstate has a long-standing commitment to reinvesting in our communities. In cooperation with Fannie Mae, we hope to help many more residents on tribal trust land to reach their dream of homeownership."
The NACLI offers a low down payment mortgage with additional credit flexibilities. This mortgage allows qualified borrowers who are members of the Crow Tribe to make a low down payment from the borrower's own funds. If the borrower fits the income limits, they may qualify for down payment assistance through the Apsaalooke Nation Housing Authority. This mortgage is available for the purchase of a new home or the purchase and rehabilitation of an existing home. The NACLI mortgage requires homebuyer education, which is provided by the Apsaalooke Nation Housing Authority. First Interstate Bank will originate the mortgage loans and Fannie Mae will purchase the eligible loans originated under this initiative.