How to Write a Hardship Letter (Format & Samples)

If you are experiencing some form of financial restrain to meet your medical bills, school fees, or the living conditions in a different region, consider writing a hardship letter. This letter gives a detailed explanation as to why you need special consideration due to your prevailing financial constraints. This should include your situation with the lenders, your inability to handle the circumstance, and your plans to get out of this situation.

However, you must first carefully assess the situation before deciding whether to write the hardship letter because some employers, lenders, learning institutions, or hospitals aren’t as lenient. Therefore, you need to give examples as to what is causing your financial difficulties and some of the reasons to state include;

  • The family breadwinner passing away
  • Involuntary or voluntary job transfer
  • Unemployment
  • Medical emergency
  • Incarceration
  • Reduced income due to a pay cut, furlough or spouse losing work

When experiencing any of these situations, it is best to write a hardship letter to get some leniency.

Steps to Writing a Hardship Letter

Step 1. Start the first paragraph by writing why you are requesting special consideration and your will to promptly come up with a solution. For instance, if you are experiencing challenges meeting your medical bills, you should state the amount due and how long this might happen. While doing this, state you are open to negotiation on how a suitable settlement will be reached to settle all your debts.

Step 2. In this section, do a detailed explanation of the events that led to your financial constraints. While doing this, chances are you might get too emotional, but it is best if you kept this at a minimum. It would be best if you instead prioritized being specific and frank about the events that led to your financial difficulties in the first place.

For example, in your hardship letter for migration, explain how the shift of location will adversely impact your income. That is the high cost of living in the new town, and the cost of relocation, especially if you have kids as this would mean a change of schools. Consequently, you should explain how this will result in a substantial fall in your income.

Step 3. This step entails giving a comprehensive explanation of how you plan to reverse your present financial difficulties. Nonetheless, never make a promise that you can’t meet as this would only make you seem more unreliable. For instance, you can explain how far a fee waiver would help boost the challenges currently being experienced. You need to be proactive while doing this to increase the chances of your lender, even considering your request.

Step 4. Here, you should give a detailed proposal on how you intend to meet your pending financial obligations. While calculating the amount payable, you should also state an interest amount to pay as a show of good faith. For instance, you can decide to pay your pending medical bills within four months with an additional three percent interest. You should also state the precise date by which the repayment will be complete to boost your credibility.

Step 5. The last part of your hardship letter should be ab apology and stating your willingness to discuss the alternate terms of repayment. Moreover, express your desire to come to a mutually favorable resolution. As you do this, state your phone number and the times when you can be contacted in case of anything. Finally, thank your addressee for their time and consideration and close your letter.

Tips On How to Write a Hardship Letter

There are several tips you need to follow when writing a hardship letter addressed including;

  • Ensure It Is Original. When writing the hardship letter, you should include personal information, as this makes you look original in your request for leniency. This is vital because the main purpose of this letter is to show your commitment, honesty, and sincerity in meeting your obligation despite the current financial constrain.
  • Keep It Concise. It is essential to make the hardship letter to be as short, precise, and straightforward as possible. This means you should avoid any unnecessary backstories about what is causing your current financial hardship in meeting your medical expenses, school fees, or immigration. Ideally, everything in this letter should be one page, and writing a long hardship letter does not necessarily show your commitment.
  • Be Honest. You need to make sure everything stated on your hardship letter is accurate, as any hint of deception will lead to the outright rejection of your hardship letter. Therefore, it is best to include accurate and current documents so that your claims don’t get rejected.
  • Have Your Objectives in Mind. When writing a hardship letter, you should acknowledge you are in a tricky situation. It would help if you thus focused on making it clear to the letter’s recipient your sincere need for assistance from them. As you do this, also add that their help is crucial to coming out of this financial difficulty.
  • Give A Detailed Action Plan. One of the best ways of making it easier for your employer, hospital, or educational institution is by clearly stating the action plan you have in place. By doing this, the chances of your hardship letter getting accepted are a lot greater. Additionally, you need to be precise with your request by stating simple statements such as “Contact me at your earliest convenience.”
  • Avoid The Use of Fancy Words. The use of simple language is crucial when drafting a hardship letter. This means that the level should ideally be at the six-grade level since the goal isn’t to impress your reader on how astute your writing skills are. Likewise, make sure to read through your letter to check its flow and clarity.
  • Don’t Shift Responsibility. Whereas, understandably, you are going through financial distress, which can be quite stressful, make sure not to show if you are shifting blame in your hardship letter. Instead, you should focus on stating what your issue is, how assistance will be invaluable, and what you are planning to do about the current situation.

Sample Hardship Letter

To Whom It May Concern:

I am writing to you to request for a {fee waiver/medical expenses/tuition reduction/ reconsideration of my immigration}. For the last {amount of time}, I’ve been under severe {financial/medical/emotional} hardship that has led to me finding it hard to meet my responsibilities fully.

I’ve had to deal with {health issues/ divorce/injury/unemployment/child support} from date}, which has drained me emotionally and financially. I’m struggling to meet my set obligations due to losing {key support}, which has impacted my overall productivity significantly. Furthermore, despite my continued persistence and hard work to handle this situation, I’m still having a hard time making sure everything goes back to normal.

Because of this, I have decided to ask for your help, and I’ve attached written statements from my {bank/therapist/ doctor/lender} to confirm the severity of my condition. I have also outlined a plan on how I can be as proactive as possible to help me get myself back on track financially.

Thank you for your consideration.


{Sender Name}

Sample Hardship Letters

Hardship Letter for Immigration

File Format
  • MS Word

Financial Hardship Letter for School

File Format
  • MS Word

Financial Hardship Letter for Medical Bills

File Format
  • MS Word

Financial Hardship Letter for Fee Waiver

File Format
  • MS Word


If you are experiencing financial constrain, drafting a hardship letter is the best way to address your grievances. Reading through this article has provided you with the steps to start writing one, the tips to consider, and an example. Therefore, you are now better placed to write one and have your considerations listened to.

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