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The federal government supports some private activities by providing credit assistance to individuals and businesses. CBO shows two kinds of estimates of the lifetime costs of those credit programs: estimates created by following procedures prescribed by the Federal Credit Reform Act of 1990 (FCRA); and estimates that account for the market value of the government’s obligations, which are called fair-value estimates.
Using FCRA procedures, CBO estimates that new loans and loan guarantees issued in 2020 would result in savings of $31 billion. But using fair-value procedures, CBO estimates that those loans and guarantees would have a lifetime cost of $36.5 billion.