How to Write the Best Hardship Letter
Last updated on June 6, 2023 / By
A hardship letter is a formal document that explains your financial, personal, or medical circumstances to a lender, creditor, or any other relevant party. It is commonly used to request a loan modification, a mortgage forbearance, or other forms of financial assistance. Writing a compelling hardship letter is crucial to increase your chances of obtaining the desired assistance. This step-by-step guide will provide you with valuable tips and insights to help you craft an effective and impactful hardship letter.
Step 1: Understand the Purpose and Audience
Before you begin writing your hardship letter, take the time to understand its purpose and the audience you are addressing. Identify the specific entity or person who will receive the letter and tailor your content accordingly. Gain a clear understanding of the purpose behind your letter, whether it’s seeking a loan modification, requesting a forbearance, or appealing for any other form of assistance.
Step 2: Gather Relevant Documentation
To strengthen your hardship letter, gather all the necessary documentation that supports your claims. This may include financial statements, medical records, pay stubs, bank statements, tax returns, or any other relevant evidence that can validate your hardship situation. Having concrete evidence will add credibility to your letter.
Step 3: Format and Structure
Adopt a professional and formal tone throughout the letter. Use a clear and legible font, such as Arial or Times New Roman, with an appropriate font size. Begin with a formal salutation addressing the recipient by name, if possible. Use paragraphs to structure your letter, ensuring it is easy to read and understand. Maintain a concise and focused approach, aiming to keep the letter to one page if possible.
Step 4: Introduction and Background
Start your hardship letter by introducing yourself and providing a brief background. State your full name, address, and contact information. Explain your relationship with the recipient if applicable. Provide a concise overview of the purpose of the letter and the financial or personal hardship you are facing.
Step 5: Elaborate on the Hardship
In this section, provide a detailed and honest explanation of your hardship. Clearly outline the circumstances that have led to your financial difficulties. Whether it’s a job loss, medical condition, divorce, or other challenges, explain the timeline of events and their impact on your financial stability. Be specific, using dates, facts, and figures wherever possible.
Step 6: Demonstrate Efforts and Solutions
Highlight any proactive steps you have taken or are currently taking to address your situation. This could include attending financial counseling, seeking additional employment, downsizing, or exploring other sources of income. Emphasize your willingness to work towards a solution and your commitment to fulfilling your financial obligations.
Step 7: Request Specific Assistance
Clearly state the type of assistance you are seeking, such as a loan modification, forbearance, or any other specific request. Be explicit about the terms you are proposing, including any changes to repayment plans, interest rates, or other relevant details. Demonstrate how this assistance will enable you to overcome your hardship and regain financial stability.
Step 8: Express Sincerity and Appreciation
Conclude your hardship letter by expressing your sincere appreciation for the recipient’s time and consideration. Reiterate your commitment to resolving the situation and maintaining a positive relationship. Sign the letter with your full name and include any relevant supporting documents as attachments.
Step 9: Proofread and Revise
Take the time to carefully proofread your hardship letter for any errors or inconsistencies. Check for grammatical mistakes, typos, and ensure the content flows smoothly. Consider seeking feedback from a trusted friend, family member, or professional to ensure clarity and coherence.
Step 10: Send and Follow Up
Send your hardship letter through the appropriate channels, such as certified mail or email, ensuring it reaches the intended recipient. Keep copies of the letter and all supporting documents for your records.
After sending the letter, follow up with the recipient within a reasonable timeframe to ensure they have received it and to inquire about the status of your request. Be polite and professional during any communication exchanges.
Writing a compelling hardship letter requires careful thought, organization, and a clear articulation of your circumstances. By following this step-by-step guide, you can create a powerful letter that effectively communicates your situation and increases your chances of obtaining the desired assistance. Remember to be truthful, concise, and respectful throughout the process. Your hardship letter has the potential to make a significant impact on your financial future, so take the time to craft it carefully and thoughtfully.
Hardship Letter Example
[City, State, ZIP Code]
[City, State, ZIP Code]
Dear [Recipient’s Name],
I hope this letter finds you well. I am writing to explain the financial hardship I am currently facing and to request your assistance in finding a solution that will allow me to overcome this challenging situation.
Introduction and Background:
My name is [Your Name], and I am writing as a valued customer/member/client of [Company/Organization Name]. I have been a loyal customer for [number of years] and have always maintained a positive relationship with your organization.
Regrettably, due to unforeseen circumstances, I have encountered significant financial difficulties. In [month/year], I experienced a sudden job loss, which severely impacted my income and ability to meet my financial obligations. As a result, I have struggled to keep up with my [mortgage/loan/credit card] payments.
I want to emphasize that this situation is temporary, and I am actively taking steps to improve my financial stability. I have been diligently searching for new employment opportunities and have sought guidance from a career counselor to enhance my job prospects. Despite my best efforts, securing stable employment has proven challenging within the current economic climate.
Efforts and Solutions:
While navigating through this difficult period, I have taken several proactive steps to mitigate the impact of my financial hardship. These include attending financial management workshops to improve my budgeting skills, exploring temporary part-time employment to supplement my income, and reaching out to credit counseling agencies for advice on debt management. I am determined to regain my financial footing and fulfill my responsibilities.
Request for Assistance:
Given my current circumstances, I kindly request your assistance in [specific request]. After carefully reviewing my financial situation, I believe that [loan modification/forbearance plan/payment arrangement] would greatly alleviate my financial burden and enable me to meet my financial obligations more comfortably. I propose [specific terms or changes] to my existing agreement to make it more manageable based on my current income and financial capabilities.
I sincerely believe that with your understanding and support, I will be able to overcome this challenging period and restore my financial stability. Your assistance would provide me with the breathing space I need to get back on track and fulfill my obligations to your organization.
I greatly appreciate your time and consideration in reviewing my situation. I have attached supporting documentation, including financial statements, pay stubs, and any other relevant documents, to provide a comprehensive overview of my current financial state. Should you require any additional information, please do not hesitate to contact me at [phone number] or [email address].
Thank you once again for your understanding and support. I look forward to a positive response and the opportunity to work together to find a mutually beneficial solution. I value my relationship with your organization and remain committed to meeting my financial responsibilities.
Enclosure: [List of Attached Documents]