No matter your efforts to meet your financial obligations at times, you may be overwhelmed and unable to pay your mortgage, credit card, or other financial needs. This may be due to losing a vital source of income, emergency payments, sickness, or injury, among others. When you face such situations, the best way out is to write a hardship letter to your lenders, credit card issuers and banks to explain you case and request for leniency as you work out the financial mess.
This letter is a significant input in your debts resolution process. If you have challenges writing the letter, it’s advisable to use a sample or templates.
How to write a hardship letter
Keep the letter brief
Most lenders have limited time to go through such letter, in a few minutes they should be able to scan through your letter and get details on what you want. The hardship letter should not exceed one page to avoid boring your reader. Only include relevant details that support your case.
State your case
In the hardship letter, you need to offer clear and precise reasons as to why you are unable to service your loan or mortgage. The reader should easily pick the main reason for your situation when reading the letter. Cite the problem that has led to your financial hardship and let the lender understand you are a responsible person and you’re willing to resume your payments immediately your situation improves.
Make specific requests
After stating your reasons for defaulting on your loan repayment, you should make a specific request to your lender. For example, you can ask them for a, lower interest rate or an extension of the loan repayment period so that you can comfortably repay your loan.
Conclude by restating your request
As you terminate your hardship letter, you’ll need to restate your request. Promise the lender you’ll be able to make regular payments once they make adjustments on your loan repayment terms.
When writing a hardship letter, you must realize the final decision lies with your lender. Avoid in any way blaming your lender for your financial troubles, instead present your letter in the best possible way. If possible, write the letter in the earliest possible time to avoid messing your relationship with the lender.
Useful tips when writing a hardship letter
- Convey your message. The main objective of a hardship letter is to convey your honesty, sincerity, and commitment to the lender. Avoid a situation where you’ll copy a letter on the internet. Each case is specific, thus write an original later stating your facts.
- Avoid lies. You should avoid giving fake reasons why you have defaulted on the loan. Only include facts in your letter. Additionally, you should be ready for a lengthy explanation of your case if need be either via the phone or in person.
- Don’t shift blame. When writing your hardship letter, you should avoid shifting blame to any other party, especially your lender. Accept your mistake of not repaying your loan in time and ask to be given another chance to repay your loan.
- Avoid using jargons. Your letter should be simple and easy to read. The aim of writing the hardship letter is to explain your case and not to impress the recipient. Additionally, you should proofread and correct any mistakes in the letter before submitting to the lender.
- Make your objectives clear. When writing the letter, you need to focus on why you are unable to repay your loan and how the lender should assist you. You should state clearly that you need help to get back to track financially.
- Offer an action plan. Let the creditor know what you want. This makes their work easy; they only need to accept or reject your proposed action plan. Highlight a specific path that you want to take to solve the problem.
- Seek expert advise. When you are in a financial mess, it’s essential to seek the help of a financial counselor to assist you to pinpoint the best way to get back to the track. They can also review your hardship letter before you sent it to the creditor and make any relevant changes.
- Provide sufficient information. In your letter you need to offer adequate information to the creditor to assist them in making the right decision regarding your case, If possible you can attach supporting documents to your hardship letter. For example, you may attach invoices, letters, cha flow statements, income tax statements, bank statements, etc.
Hardship letter format
Account/ credit card number
Dear [if possible get the name of the relevant person responsible for your case in the lending institution],
In the first paragraph, you’ll need to explain the reasons for your current financial status.
Highlight any measure that has made to correct the situation and the outcome. Let the creditor know why you need their support or why you can’t meet your financial obligations without their assistance.
You should use this last paragraph to summarize your request and thank your creditors for their patience and assistance. You also need to reiterate your commitment to clear the loan.
Any attached documents or enclosures should also be mentioned in this section. You should also suggest your preferred solution to the problem.
Sample hardship letter/email
124 Y Street
Chicago IL, 91765
Account no: 333246776
346 Grevy Avenue
Whiteland WL, 20000
Dear Miss Oslo,
As you know, I have not been able to service my mortgage for the last six months. In this regard, I request for a loan modification for my mortgage.
I lost my job five months ago, but fortunately, I will be reporting to another company at the start of the coming month. Through this period, I have had a tough time paying my bills.
I request for an extension of my mortgage so that I can comfortably repay the loan. Please find attached enclosed documents supporting my case.
Thank you for your assistance.
Types of hardship letters
Medical hardship letter
Medical bills come unexpectedly due to accidents or illnesses. When you find you’re unable to pay your medical bills it’s important to write a medical hardship letter to the hospital or doctor and explain your case. In the letter you should include:
- Reason why you have not paid the bills
- How you plan to settle the medical bill
- Any help you require from the hospital/doctor
Debt hardship letter
Any time you borrow a loan or apply for a mortgage, your wish is to repay the debt as agreed, although this may not be possible at all times. In this case, it’s crucial to write a debt hardship letter to the creditors. The letter should highlight the following:
- · Reasons for defaulting your loan
- · Proffered action plan
- · Ask for assistance from the creditor
Hardship letter for immigration
A Hardship letter for immigration is an important document that can assist a family member in being brought back to your country or avoid deportation. In the letter you should explain the flowing:
- How the family will suffer financially the member is deported
- Any medical conditions that need urgent attention
- Other relevant reasons why the individual should not be deported
Hardship letter for short sale
A short sale allows a homeowner to sell their property at a value less than the total debt remaining on the mortgage. A short sale hardship letter will allow the property owner to get authorization from the bank to avoid foreclosure. The letter should bear the following details:
- Why you need to go for the short sale
- Your current financial situation
- How the lender should help you