At $1.4 trillion, student loan debt represents the U.S.'s second largest debt market behind mortgages and, in several recent surveys, younger respondents have said those loans are a large reason they are unable to save up a down payment to buy a home. The debt won't easily go away, but Fannie Mae now says it would like to make those loans a slightly little less painful presence in borrowers' lives.

For some, this change may allow them to qualify for a larger mortgage amount.

Here are the three policies Fannie Mae has offered:

  • Student Loan Cash-Out Refinance: Offers homeowners the flexibility to pay off high interest rate student debt while potentially refinancing to a lower mortgage interest rate.

  • Debt Paid by Others: Widens borrower eligibility to qualify for a home loan by excluding from the borrower's debt-to-income ratio non-mortgage debt, such as credit cards, auto loans, and student loans, paid by someone else.

  • Student Debt Payment Calculation: Makes it more likely for borrowers with student debt to qualify for a loan by allowing lenders to accept student loan payment information on credit reports.