Leave and Earning Statement (LES)

As a borrower or lender, it is important to know how to of calculate qualifiable income shown on the leave and earnings statement, otherwise known as an LES. The ability to understand what income matters and what factors affect qualifiable income occurs once it is known qualifications include more than income.  Visually seeing an LES is a good place to start. Start by opening an LES and analyzing each individual piece. The primary focus is the entitlement box in the upper left-hand corner of the page. When determining qualifiable income base pay, BAH, and BAS should remain the focus. Followed by the zip code of where the service member is PCSing to.  BAH is calculated based on the zip code of where the service member is PCSing to, the new location could completely change the amount of BAH shown on the LES. The paid data line underneath entitlement and taxes shows whether the service member has dependents. The number and type of dependents also affect the amount of BAH paid to the service member. Pay grade and amount of time spent in the service contribute to the amount of base pay and the BAS given.  Other allowances such as co-pay, combat pay, and flight pay can also count towards qualifiable income. Most lenders may ask to see if those will be received continually. Normally lenders go off of base pay, BAH, and BAS because those are consistent.

Calculating Income

Qualifiable income can be found by adding up base pay, BAH and BAS. What should be used as qualifiable income? What may be questioned in the future? Finally one of the most often missed items on an LES could lead to an incorrect calculation of income. Each question states important issues that may arise when calculating income from an LES.

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