When veterans apply for a VA loan they are required to provide a Statement of Service letter, otherwise known as a SOS.
The Statement of Service letter has to be specifically geared towards a home loan, and can be obtained through your local office for military personnel.
A Statement of Service is a document which verifies that you are either an active military member, or are retired with at least 6 years of active service prior to retirement or discharge.
A SOS letter is required for VA loans in order to combat fraud and incorrect information. Although it is an extra step in the process, SOS letters ultimately help guard military service members by restricting VA loan availability to only those who qualify due to their service. Because of this, SOS letters are an integral part of the process behind getting approved for a VA loan.
After obtaining a SOS, the next step is to accurately complete it and have it signed by your commanding officer. It is very important that your SOS has both correct information and a signature.
Plan ahead and obtain your Statement of Service letter early in the VA loan process. This will help ensure that your VA loan approval process goes as quickly and smoothly as possible.
According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, if you retired or were discharged from the military after January 1, 1950, you can provide a copy of your DD Form 214 as evidence. If you are still active in the military, a Statement of Service letter is required.
Below is a great example of a Statement of Service letter from the Department of Veterans Affairs website, located at benefits.va.gov/ under the section titled “Chapter 2.”
Although your personal SOS does not have to follow this format, it should contain the same information.
MEMO TO VA REGIONAL OFFICE
SUBJECT: Statement of Active Military Duty Service
1. I certify that I, as Commanding Officer, am the official custodian for the personnel records of: <insert name>
a. Name: b. Social Security ID: c. Service Serial Number (If different to b.) d. D.O.B. : e. Rank/Rating:
2. Below is an entire Statement of Service of active duty periods of service by the Veteran stated above.
A. From (date of service entry) b. To: c. Status: d. Separations and Forms Issued: e. ETS:
3. I certify the veteran stated above has lost ____ days of active service during their current period.
4. Service member is not barred from re-enlistment.
a. Type / Print Name: b. Signature: c. Title: d. Date: