Verification of employment (VOE) is a written or oral verification of the details of an individual’s employment history. A formal verification of employment process, usually involving a written verification and an oral follow-up, is part of the application process when an individual applies for a mortgage or other types of loans. The information requested in a VOE check will vary depending on the purpose of the request and the agency requesting the information. A typical request will ask the employer to verify the dates of employment, job title, and compensation history of the individual. Employers will often require a written release from the current or former employee before providing detailed written verifications.
Lending agencies will request a written verification of employment to cross-check the information provided to them by the applicant. They are looking to verify the accuracy of the information provided on the loan application to help determine if that applicant has the income and financial stability necessary to meet the debt obligation that would be incurred under the terms of the loan agreement. Verification of employment is just one step in the loan application process, and the information from the VOE will be cross-referenced with other documentation, which may include income tax returns and pay stubs. Most lenders require information to verify at least the past two years of employment history. Lenders will often call the current employer and request an oral VOE just prior to approving a loan, to check that the applicant is still actively employed, and has not recently undergone a change in income or employment status.
Self-employed individuals are not usually allowed to self-verify income or employment details, as the process is intended to provide a third-party verification. Depending on the lender, self-employed applicants may be required to undergo additional verification procedures or provide additional proof of a steady income. Additional documentation, such as accounting records and a business license, may be requested in addition to income tax records and other commonly requested documents. If the self-employed applicant works with an accountant or other independent financial professional, that person may be asked to provide information.
Verification of employment may be necessary for other reasons, including applying for a new job, adopting a child, or for immigration and naturalization purposes. There may be legal boundaries on the type of information that can be provided by an employer, particularly for third-party requests by phone. The amount and type of information that can be verified may vary by jurisdiction, and may also depend on the purpose of the verification. Some employers have their own internal guidelines to protect employee privacy, and will often only verify a very limited amount of information without written consent.