Freddie Mac said Tuesday that it earned $2.9 billion in the July-September quarter and paid a dividend of $1.8 billion to the U.S. Treasury. It was Freddie's fourth straight profitable quarter.
Fannie and Freddie are required to pay 10 percent dividends on the government money they receive.
Under a new federal policy announced last summer, Fannie and Freddie have to turn over all profits they earn every quarter to the government. The change was made to ensure that the companies pay the government back.
Fannie and Freddie own or guarantee about half of all U.S. mortgages, or nearly 31 million home loans. Along with several federal agencies, they backed nearly 90 percent of new mortgages over the past year.