VA requirements

VA Loans: Enlistment Verification

March 5, 2015

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VA Loans: Enlistment Verification

Whether a service member is close to their re-enlistment date can have an impact of the process of a VA loan. For military members applying for VA loans who are within a year of their current re-enlistment date, obtaining enlistment verification is vital. Additionally, the Department of Veterans Affairs has other paperwork requirements for VA loan applicants currently serving who are near the end of their current military service commitment.

The VA Lender’s Handbook instructs lenders to “identify service members who are within 12 months of release from active duty or end of contract term. Find the date of expiration of the applicant’s current contract for active service on the LES (for an enlisted service member). For a National Guard or Reserve member, find the expiration date of the applicant’s current contract.”

This is necessary because additional information is required from the VA loan applicant when they are within a year of re-enlistment. VA loans require the lender to get one or more of the following, according to VA.gov:

  • Documentation that the service member has already re-enlisted or extended his/her period of active duty to a date beyond the 12-month period following the projected closing of the loan.
  • Verification of a valid offer of local civilian employment following the release from active duty. All data pertinent to sound underwriting procedures (date employment will begin, earnings, and so on) must be included.
  • A statement from the service member that he/she intends to reenlist or extend his/her period of active duty to a date beyond the 12 month period.

When service members provide a statement of intent to re-enlist, VA loan rules require the borrower to furnish an additional statement from the applicant’s commanding officer or a designated representative stating that the applicant is eligible to re-enlist as indicated on the borrower’s letter of intent, and that there is no reason why the re-enlistment or extension of duty would be denied.

In cases where such a statement might not apply (the applicant’s pending military retirement would be one good example), the commander has the option of submitting “documentation of other unusually strong positive underwriting factors” which could include a down payment of 10 percent or more, “significant cash reserves” or what the VA describes as, “clear evidence of strong ties to the community coupled with a nonmilitary spouse’s income so high that only minimal income from the active duty servicemember is needed to qualify.”

About Joe Wallace

Joe Wallace has been specializing in military and personal finance topics since 1995. His work has appeared on Air Force Television News, The Pentagon Channel, ABC and a variety of print and online publications. He is a 13-year Air Force veteran and a member of the Air Force Public Affairs Alumni Association.

14 Comments
  1. Jill

    If you write a letter saying you plan to reenlist. Buy a home, and then end up not reenlisting, what happens then?

    • Joe Wallace

      I think the answer to that question depends greatly on whether you have closed the deal or not.

  2. Tom

    I have employment lined up after I retire from the Air Force later this year. What do I have to get from my future employer to give to the VA?

    • Joe Wallace

      Your loan officer will discuss any specific paperwork needed but in general VA loan rules require "verification of a valid offer of local civilian employment following the release from active duty." This would include "All data pertinent to sound underwriting procedures (date employment will begin, earnings, and so on)".

  3. denitra mitchell

    My husband CO sent a letter stating the he is discharged into the reserves 90 days early. He wanted to get out but with the loan pending... He is decided to the reserves to reenlist under their full time support program. He has his DD214 which says he is discharged from active duty. He also has his dd form 4 which says he is in the delayed entry program and then on his initial eaos he will be USNR full time support. This is where he is attached to a reserve unit but receives active duty benefits/pay. Would that make the underwriter not approve the loan?

    • Joe Wallace

      It may depend on the lender's standards, but if there is current employment and the employment in this case is verified (and the military commitment length is acceptable to the lender) it may not be a barrier to loan approval. As always, much depends on the individual circumstances.

  4. Justin Hines

    Is there any specific format the statement of intent to reenlist has to be done in?

    • Joe Wallace

      Whatever may be acceptable to your command and/or the lender.

  5. Anita

    Hi, I am working with a buyer and one of the conditions to obtain a final approval on his loan is a letter from his commanding officer about re-enlistment. It has taken over 3 weeks to obtain the letter and our contract expires tomorrow. I have never rub into an issue like this before. Why is he having trouble obtaining this letter? He hasn't told us if there is an issue but I am suspecting that there may be a problem. why would a commanding officer refuse or delay to give a re-enlistment letter. Can the veteran get a letter from someone other than a commanding officer. Thank in advance for your response.

    • Joe Wallace

      Borrowers need to go through the unit orderly room or commanding officer to obtain the letter. The borrower may need to request the help of his First Sergeant, or someone in a similar position of authority (Such as a Navy Chief Petty Officer for the unit) if there's no response from the Commanding Officer. IF the reenlistment eligibility is in question that could delay the issue of such a letter.

  6. Frank Donald

    If you write a letter saying you plan to reenlist. Buy a home, and then end up not reenlisting, what happens then? The house was purchase and now it have been about six months since the deal was close.

    • Joe Wallace

      The answer may depend on state law and the requirements of your loan agreement. Check the legally binding document you signed at closing time to see if there is any clause that may pertain to this situation.

  7. Raul Rubio

    Hello, I am being asked by the mortgage company to submitt a LOE concerning re-enlistment. The thing is that I am an officer in the ARNG, we don't re-enlist and we do not sign contracts. What should I do?

    • Joe Wallace

      You would likely need a letter from your commander showing your current status, the nature and duration of your current commitment, etc.

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