Government-controlled mortgage giant Freddie Mac has requested just $146 million in additional aid after posting a smaller loss in the fourth quarter.
That's far less than in the third quarter, when Freddie received $6 billion from the government. It received $7.6 billion for all of 2011.
Freddie Mac says it lost $1 billion, or 32 cents per share, in the October-December quarter. That compares with a loss of $1.72 billion, or 53 cents a share, in the same quarter of 2010.
Freddie's losses are decreasing because of a drop in the number of homeowners paying less interest as they refinance at lower mortgage rates.
The government rescued McLean, Va.-based Freddie Mac and sibling company Fannie Mae in September 2008 after massive losses on risky mortgages threatened to topple them.