When a corporation or government agency buys loans from lenders to pool and package as securities for resale to investors, the products may be pass-through securities.
That means regular payments of interest and return of principal that borrowers make on the original loans are funneled, or passed through, to the investors.
Unlike standard bonds, whose principal is repaid at maturity, the principal of a pass-through security is repaid over the life of the debt.
The best known pass-throughs are the mortgage-backed bonds offered by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and Ginnie Mae. However, you can also buy pass-through securities backed by car loans, credit card debt, and other types of borrowing. Those are known as asset-backed securities.
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