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What You Need to Know About Your Statement of Service

If you’re currently serving in the military and looking to get a VA loan, you’ll need something called a statement of service to verify your current status. Additionally, you’ll need to provide a Leave and Earnings Statement (LES) to secure VA financing. Let’s take a look at what these documents are, and why they’re important.

What is a Statement of Service on a VA Loan?

A statement of service provides several pieces of information that aren't found on your LES. When an underwriter looks at your mortgage application, they will need both documents to substantiate your service.

While an LES covers your pay and wages, a statement of service covers other administrative information that can affect whether you can use your LES income for home loan purposes.

How to Make Your LES Income Count

If you're close to the end of your contract, an underwriter will pay very close attention to your separation date. In order to use your LES income, one of three things must occur:

  1. You have to close on a home loan at least 12 months before your separation date;
  2. You have to provide evidence of employment after separation; or
  3. You have to provide verification of reenlistment.

Reenlistment verification will generally include two documents: A sentence on your statement of service regarding whether you are eligible to reenlist and a separate document stating your intent to reenlist. Some lenders may also require you to provide proof of reenlistment before allowing you to use this income.

The 12-month cutoff from separation can be frustrating for planning purposes but it makes sense – income needs to be stable and continuous to count it for loan purposes. If you're getting out of the military in three months and don't have a job lined up it'll be difficult to make a mortgage payment. To an underwriter, allowing a borrower to use income that will only continue for another three months is too risky.

Statement of Service Letter Requirements

There isn't a standard military form for the statement of service. But in general, the statement of service compiles several pieces of significant information:

  • Official Letterhead
  • Date
  • Full Name of Borrower
  • Social Security Number
  • Date of Birth
  • Branch of Service
  • Rank
  • Date Entered on Active Duty
  • Current Date of Separation
  • Unit of Assignment and Current Duty Location
  • Duration of Time Lost, if any
  • Last Discharge
  • Type of Discharge
  • Whether you are barred or flagged from continued service
  • If reserves, whether the borrower is an "active" reservist or inactive status
  • Whether you are eligible to reenlist
  • Information Current as of Date
  • Signature and Title of Signer

If you're preparing to apply for a VA home loan, printing this list off would be a good idea and talking with your supervisor or commanding officer. They’ll be able to help you determine your best point of contact for this request.