Writing a Simple Promise to Pay Letter [Free Samples]

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A “Promise to Pay Letter” is a promise to pay a debt that is put in writing. These documents may also be known as a loan note or a loan agreement and is sometimes called an I.O.U. 

In most cases, the promise to play letter will be prepared by a loan officer at a bank or lender, but it can also be prepared by a lawyer. 

It is possible to write a promise to pay letter by yourself and it will be a legal and binding contract. However; it must include specific information to be legal.

Start With The Date

Start with the date, as this is an important part of any loan note. The terms of the loan will be based upon the date the note is written. 

Be sure to clearly write out the amount the loan is for. Put it both in word form and number form lest there be any confusion. 

It would be similar to how you would write a check. The amount borrowed in the note is considered a principal sum. Since this is a note of repayment an errors can affect the payback amount.

Terms Of The Note

The terms of the note must be clearly written. If the debt is to be repaid weekly, bi-weekly or monthly, it needs to be spelled out. Some loans will have a balloon payment, especially at the end of the note. 

If this is the case, this also needs to be clearly spelled out with the date due. It must clearly state when the first payment is due and the amount that is expected.

first payment

The first payment may be due at a different time than the other payments. The language of the note needs to specify a payment schedule to make sure it is clear. The final payment should also be clearly spelled out with the month, day and year that it is due.

Some promissory notes will include an amortization schedule, but it is not always included. This schedule will show each payment and the balance on the loan at that payment time, with the current interest rate.

All Loans Have An Interest Rate

All loans have an interest rate. Like the amount of the note, the interest rate must also be in numeric and written form. Included should be an address or method how the payment needs to be paid. It should also state if the interest rate is fixed or variable.

If the loan is secured by some item(s), it needs to be stated. If the loan is unsecured that should also be written. The lender’s name and borrowers name should both be clearly listed on the note. 

There should be spaces provided for both parties to sign the document, which officially enters them into the agreement. Below are sample promise to pay letters.

Sample 1 - Promise To Pay Letter For Rent

Your Name
Your Address
City, State, Zip Code


Landlord’s Name
Landlord’s Address
City, State, Zip Code

RE: Promise to Pay Letter for Rent

Dear Name of [Landlord]:

This is formal notice that I will pay the back rent of [NUMERIC AMOUNT], [WRITTEN AMOUNT] that I own you on [DATE]. I will pay the full amount at that time. 

I was unable to make my rental payments because I lost my job three months ago. I have another job and this letter is my assurance to you that I will pay my rent in full.

Thank you for your patience and consideration of my situation. If you agree, kindly sign and return a copy of this letter to me.


Your Name

Place for Landlord’s Signature
Landlord’s Name Printed

Sample 2 - Promise To Pay Letter For Car Loan

Your Name and Address
Name and Address of Lender
Principal Amount of Car Loan

This Note is to document the sale of [Make of Car, VIN number, model, year of manufacture] owned by the Lender, who has the legal right to sell the car to the Borrower.

  • The above Borrower promises to pay the above Lender the principal sum of [AMOUNT OF LOAN] with interest at the rate of [PERCENTAGE OF INTEREST] per annum that is calculated every year and not in advance.
  • The Borrower will make monthly payments of [AMOUNT] on or by the fifth day of each month and this Note will be repaid in full on [DATE] at which time the Lender will transfer the title of the car to the Borrower with a recording of the odometer reading.
  • This Note is constructed in accordance with the laws of the State of [STATE].
  • As long as the Borrower is not in default of payments, Borrower may pay the outstanding balance owed on the Note to the Lender without penalty or further bonus payments.
  • If the payment is more than five days late, a penalty of [AMOUNT] will be added to the principal.
  • Any legal costs that the Lender incurred because the Borrower was in default of payments will be added to the principal of the loan, and will be immediately paid by the Borrower.
  • If any competent court holds any part of this Note to be invalid or void, both parties involved intend that the provision be reduced in scope only to the extent deemed necessary by the court and that the remainder of the provisions remain unaffected.
  • This Note will be binding upon the heirs and successors of both the Borrower and Lender.

The Note is witnessed by the Borrower and Lender with signatures on this day of [DATE].

Your Name and DATE

Signature of Lender
Printed Name of Lender and DATE

Sample 3 - Promise To Pay Letter For Loan

The undersigned agrees to pay to [Robert and Janet Calhoun] the principal sum of Five thousand, six hundred and seventy five dollars and no cents. [$ 5,675.00] This note also includes interest of [six percent 6%].

The principal amount, including interest, is payable in payments as follows: [two hundred and seventy five dollars and no cents $275.00] on the 1st day of August 2020 and [one hundred and seventy five dollars and no cents $175.00] due the 15th of August 2020 and every month thereafter until this loan is paid in full.

All installments are due on the 1st and 15th day of each and every month thereafter until this Note is fully paid.

The only exception is the final payment, if not paid at an earlier date, which will be due on 21st day of July 2021 in the amount of [thirty nine dollars $39.00]. All payments made will be first applied to interest and then principal balance.

Payments are to be by mailing to [7689 Stone Ridge Blvd. Reynoldsburg, Ohio 43068]. The lenders reserve the right to change the address in writing if necessary. It may become necessary for the lenders to secure the amount of said note. 

The undersigned agrees that this note may be revocable due to non-payment of any collection costs, such as court, and other collection activities will be added to the balance. 

Should the lender exercise this option, the entire unpaid balance of the loan and interest becomes due and payable immediately. Reasonable collection activities may include attorney fees and obtaining a judgment.

By signing this document, both parties agree to the terms and guidelines laid forth.





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