When You Should Write A Hardship Letter

For many years you have enjoyed the best job in the world. You have all your bills paid up and money stashed in the bank. There are no creditors calling your home or work. Life is pretty predictable at this point. Then one day all that changes. Your boss calls you in his office to say the company is cutting back and your job is eliminated. You beg for mercy or a different placement, but there is none to be had.

Then the struggle begins.

While you are out of work, your savings becomes spent. There is nothing left and the creditors just don’t care. They keep ringing your phone off the hook and sending those nasty settlement letters in the mail. You are at your wit’s end and don’t know what to do. You think about giving up. What’s the point in trying anymore? When you reach this moment, a hardship letter could be a smart solution.

What is a Hardship Letter?

According to the experts at Legal Zoom, a hardship letter is just what it says. It is a letter written by you, the borrower, to your creditor explaining your situation. At any point when you need assistance or an alternative payment option, most creditors will require you to write a hardship letter.

Your letter should provide the creditor with a detailed explanation of what assistance you need. The cause of your hardship and what your current situation is, in relation to finances, are also to be included. Creditors need the full picture. Don’t hold anything back. If they fully understand your situation, you are more likely to receive the assistance you are asking for.

When to Start Writing

According to the Business Insider, the average American is carrying over $5,000 in credit card debt. This number is rising each day. With a number like that, any life change could lead to a hardship letter. Below is a list of situations that may lead you to write a letter. Keep in mind this list is not exhaustive.

  1. Loss of Income – Anytime you lose your source of income, which may come from losing your job or relocating, the danger of hardships is likely to come your way. Deciding to pay your bills or buy groceries for your family are everyday questions to answer. The time between jobs can be stressful, but with a hardship letter, your creditor may take some of the stress away.
  2. Suffered an Injury – If you been injured at work, in an automobile accident, or doing repairs at home, your income may change. While you’re out of work, you may receive compensation less than your usual salary. This lessens the number of monthly payments you can make. Write that letter and explain your situation. There may be an alternative payment method available.
  3. Home Has Not Sold – Relocating means buying or renting a new home. During this time, you will need to sell your previous home. Who wants to pay two mortgages? You may need to ask your creditor to refinance or defer a few payments.
  4. Death of a Family Member- This event definitely leads to unexpected expenses going out of your pocket. When you pay over $5,000 in funeral expenses, you are bound to hit tough times. Finances may not be at the front of your mind and bills get behind.
  5. Military Service- Serving your country may send you away from home. In order to pay your creditors, special arrangements may need to be made.
  6. Divorce/Separation- Legal expenses can add up quickly making it hard to keep up the payments.

During any of these times, you may want to write that letter sooner rather than later. Don’t wait until you are significantly behind. It may actually make getting help harder to achieve.

Tips for Writing a Hardship Letter

Writing a hardship can be a daunting task. It is as if you are admitting defeat. We all hit those tough times and must ask for help. That’s okay!

Creditors are not going to put hardship letters at the top of their agendas. The bottom line is that they want their money back. In order to make sure your letter gets in the right hands; it needs to be stellar.

Let’s examine some tips for writing a hardship letter that no creditor can resist.

  • Concise is the word- There is no need to add fluff in this letter. You want to keep it simple and to the point. This will keep your audience tuned in. Don’t make them put your letter down because it was three pages long.
  • Make your request specific- Tell the creditor exactly what you are asking for whether it be a lower interest rate, refinance your mortgage or forbearance.
  • Explanation of your hardship is essential- In this portion of the letter, clearly lay what your hardship is, how you got there, and why it has affected your ability to make on-time payments. If their multiple circumstances leading to the current hardship, be sure to list them. Again, no fluff, just the facts.
  • Be sure to restate your request at the end of your letter- This is the place to remind the reader of what you’re asking for and show humility. Remember that you are asking for a measure of grace in a hard situation but ultimately the creditor has control.

Making the choice to ask for help in the form of a hardship letter is not a sign of weakness or failure. It is a sign of strength. You have the bravery to ask your creditor for help. Knowing what a hardship letter is when to write one, and tips to make it stand out will give you peace of mind and hopefully a helping hand to your finances.

Will you give in to the thought that you will never be free of debt because life threw stones at you or will you give the amazing hardship letter a chance?

financial hardship

A Guide to Financial Hardship: Here’s When You Should Consider Using a Hardship Letter

When it comes to their financial health, many Americans are just barely treading water. 

Only 30 percent of Americans have some kind of long-term financial plan, and 31 percent have less than $500 set aside in emergency saves. Nineteen percent don’t have any money saved to cover the cost of an emergency expense.

Do these situations ring a bell to you? Are you currently struggling to scrape together funds to make ends meet and pay the bills? If so, you might be able to use a financial hardship letter to get a fresh start.

Read on to learn more about what constitutes financial hardship and when you ought to consider using a hardship letter.

What is a Hardship Letter?

A hardship letter is a letter written to a lender explaining why you cannot make the payments you previously agreed to pay.

You might also use a hardship letter to explain why you’ve chosen a specific approach to get rid of or minimize your debt, such as a short sale on your home, a loan modification, or suspension of past due payments.

Hardship letters are typically comprised of three components:

  • How you got into your current financial situation (i.e., what has changed since you originally took out your loan)
  • What you’ve done to try and fix the situation
  • Why your previous attempts have not worked

A well-written hardship letter can help you begin to correct your situation and regain control of your debt and finances.

The key, of course, is to make sure your situation is actually considered to be a financial hardship. You’ll also need to avoid common mistakes that may cause a lender to reject your letter.

When Should You Use a Financial Hardship Letter?

There are only certain situations in which a lender will honor a hardship letter. Some of these specific situations include:

  • Losing your job
  • A sudden reduction in income (due to situations like furlough, a new job, your partner’s loss of job, a pay cut, etc.)
  • An illness or medical emergency
  • A sudden job transfer (either voluntary or involuntary)
  • A divorce or separation
  • An extreme change in your mortgage terms (often the result of an adjustable-rate loan)
  • Military service
  • A death in the family
  • The incarceration of a family member
  • A sudden increase in expenses or debts

An unexpected catastrophe can also bring on financial hardship, especially if it necessitates significant maintenance or major repairs.

How to Write a Financial Hardship Letter

Do any of the above situations apply to you? If so, you might want to consider writing a hardship letter to your lender explaining the situation. 

Not sure how to write a hardship letter? These guidelines can help:

Make Your Request as Specific as Possible

For your letter to be taken seriously, you need to be very specific about your objectives. What do you want the lender to do?

Do you want them to suspend your past due amounts? Do you want your interest rate or monthly minimum payments adjusted? The more specific you are, the better.

Explain Your Hardship

Next, you need to explain why your situation ought to be considered a hardship. Keep this section concise.

Simply sum up what has happened in your life over the last few months and why those events have made it hard for you to keep up with your loan payments.

Explain the Steps You’ve Taken to Correct it

It’s also important to explain what you have done so far to correct your situation. Have you cut your expenses or taken on a second job?

Explaining what you’ve done will help your lender see that you have taken action but still need additional help. 

Restate Your Request Clearly

End your letter by restating as clearly as possible what you would like your lender to do.

Be as explicit as you can and make it clear that, once you receive what you’re asking for, you will be able to keep up with your payments without any additional issues.

Include Supporting Documentation

It’s also helpful to include documentation that backs up the points you’ve made regarding your financial situation. For example, you might want to include copies of your medical bills or a copy of your divorce order.

If you include these documents, address them in your letter as well. Just a sentence or two explaining what they are is sufficient.

Keep it Short

Remember, your letter should be short and to the point.

Your lender is busy, and they receive tons of letters and emails every day. They don’t have time to read a novel about your current financial situation. Limit it to one page or shorter, if you can.

Be Humble

A little humility goes a long way when you’re writing a hardship letter. Avoid placing blame on your lender or any of the other parties involved in your situation. Keep your tone as neutral and objective as possible.

Be sure to thank your lender for their time, too. Remember, you need their help. If the person reading your letter thinks that you’re being hostile, aggressive, or ungrateful, they may reject your request. 

Have Someone Review Your Letter

Finally, it can be helpful to have someone review your letter before you mail it.

If you’re working with a financial coach or a nonprofit housing counselor, he or she can review your letter and help you with any changes to the tone or wording that they think might increase your chances of having your letter accepted. 

Do You Need to Write a Financial Hardship Letter?

Do you think a financial hardship letter can help you with your current financial situation? If so, be sure you follow these guidelines when writing it. 

Do you need more guidance on how to write your hardship letter? Are you looking for examples or specific information on what to include and avoid? If so, we can help.

Check out the hardship letter archives on our site for all kinds of useful articles. This one, which is all about writing an effective hardship letter, is a great starting point. 

financial hardship

What Is a Financial Hardship Letter, Exactly? Here’s a Quick Explainer

Over 3/4 of Americans are currently in some sort of debt.

Whether it be from past student or business loans, credit card debt, or a mortgage on your home?

The unfortunate truth is that the percentage of Americans who currently can’t afford their homes due to debt or other financial problems has risen by close to 150% in recent years.

If you’re among these people, writing an effective financial hardship letter may be able to help you to keep your home. But what are some common hardship examples, and what elements should a strong letter of hardship include?

In this post, we’ll tell you everything that you need to know when it comes to how to write a hardship letter.

What Is a Financial Hardship Letter?

Before we get into the specifics of writing an effective financial hardship letter?

Let’s first discuss what exactly one is.

A hardship letter is a document that you will write to your lender when you need to apply for some sort of modification to your mortgage or your loan. You will need to write one as a sort of “explanation” as to why you can no longer make the standard repayment amount, or why you have missed payments.

Your letter needs to make it clear to a lender that you want to be able to make your payments on time and in the full amount. It’s just that, because of unexpected circumstances, you are currently unable to do so.

In other words: a financial hardship letter isn’t a “get out of jail free” card that will allow you to behave irresponsibly or “buy you time” when it comes to repaying your debts.

It is a proactive way to show your lender that you take your debts seriously and that you want to work with them to find a way to modify your repayment plan in a way that’s achievable for you but still beneficial to them.

You will also need to tell your lender the steps that you are willing and able to take in order to get your financial situation back on track. You’ll also need to give them a rough estimate of how much time that you believe this will take.

A well-written financial hardship letter can help you to avoid having to foreclose on your home or prevent you from making a short sale.

Of course, not everything qualifies as a financial hardship. Read on to learn more.

Common Financial Hardship Examples

Just because you went on a spending spree at the mall or because you would rather spend the money on something else other than repaying your debts, does not mean that you’re experiencing a financial hardship.

Situations like that only tell lenders that you’ve made poor financial decisions — so don’t expect too much sympathy from lenders if that’s the case.

However, there are hardship examples that are legitimate and can cause you just as much emotional pain and stress as they can financial problems.

So, before you draft that letter, let’s talk about common financial hardship examples.

These can include incarceration, a sudden loss of your job, or an unexpected reduction in your income. Maybe you’ve had to take a pay cut, or perhaps your partner has been injured, ill, or unable to work because of other medical issues.

Perhaps the terms of your mortgage have changed. Perhaps you’ve recently dealt with a natural disaster, or maybe you’ve even gotten a divorce. In some cases, you may even face financial hardship due to a death in the family.

Remember that, unfortunately, a reduction in the expected value of your property does not qualify as a financial hardship.

How to Write a Hardship Letter Effectively

Now, let’s take a closer look at how best to write a hardship letter that will give you the results you want.

The first thing you’ll need to do is to calculate your loan amount and figure out exactly the kind of modification you want to request. Getting specific with the numbers makes your letter much more likely to be taken seriously.

Your letter should also include your name and address, the financial institution you’re working with as your lender, and your loan/bank account number.

Begin quickly, as these letters truly shouldn’t be longer than one page. Explain your specific hardship as neutrally and succinctly as possible.

In other words, this isn’t the time to trash your ex-employer or your ex-spouse for causing you financial problems. Then, explain what a modification to your loan would allow you to be able to do.

How would it help you to improve your financial situation, and what steps will you personally take to do so? Then, it’s time to move into the specific numbers when requesting a loan modification.

Then, close by explaining to your lender how you plan to prevent yourself from getting into this situation again in the future.

Need Additional Help With Your Financial Hardship Letter?

We hope that this post has helped you to understand not only the situations that may make it necessary for you to write a financial hardship letter but also how to craft one effectively.

We understand that, when you’ve fallen on hard financial times, it can sometimes feel impossible to get things back under control again.

Getting approved for a repayment plan can make things much easier.

Looking for additional advice on how to write a hardship letter for a specific situation?

Whether you need a good template for a letter due to property damage, a job loss, medical bills, or more, we have the information that you need to include in your letter.

Let us help you to keep your head above water when you need it the most.

Writing A Financial Hardship Letter

There are many situations in which you may need to know how to write a financial hardship letter. Hardship, by its definition, is an unexpected event. People usually do not take on financial commitments if they expect not to be able to meet them. It is the reality of life that your situation may change and this can lead to a temporary difficulty that prevents you from complying with your financial obligations.

What Is a Financial Hardship Letter?

Very simply put, this is a letter written to a creditor, in which special consideration is requested because of a certain situation. This means that you are struggling with your finances due to a situation beyond your control. Most commonly, these letters request that outstanding debts be consolidated, or that some leniency be shown in relation to certain deadlines for payments and other similar terms and conditions. For instance, you may require leniency in regards to the payment of your medical bills, credit card bills, or even your mortgage payments.

It is also reasonably common for students to write a letter of financial hardship. They may not be able to afford the tuition for the course they plan to enroll in, and they have not yet been able to secure a scholarship or grant. In these cases, they may request for a reduced tuition. They may also write a letter of financial hardship as part of their request for a grant or scholarship.

Specifics in Writing a Financial Hardship Letter

There are various kinds of financial hardship letters, depending on the type of creditor. That said, they all follow a certain format and have to include a number of specific things.

  1. You should always be completely honest and straightforward about your personal situation. It is not possible for creditors to get money from you if you haven’t got it, so it is in their favor to negotiate with you so that they can recover as much as possible. However, they will only consider this if you are open and upfront.
  2. Do not write an emotional letter. This isn’t about how you feel or about the difficulties that you are experiencing. You do not want to give them a sob story, but you want to give them a picture of the facts and the reality. They want to hear what the situation is, what you are asking for, and how you aim to resolve the situation.
  3. Always discuss how you aim to solve the problem and your time table, and demonstrate that you will be paying and will continue to pay, as much as you can. Do not write a financial hardship letter as an effort to get out of paying your bills. Rather, it is about being realistic about your situation and how you aim to improve it.
  4. If there is some special consideration that you want the creditor to make, such as asking an educational institution for a reduced tuition, then try to discuss things other than the reasons why you can’t pay the normal price. Make sure that you also tell them why they should consider you as an ideal student, and someone that is worth making a significant exception to the rule for.

Financial Hardship Letter Example

{Your Name}
{Your Address}
{Your Phone Number}

{Financial Institution Name}
{Phone Number}
ATTN: {contact person}


RE: {consolidation/restructuring/forgiveness} of debt on {mortgage, credit card or other loan payment}

To Whom It May Concern:

I am writing because I am currently experiencing financial hardship, and would like to find a way to {reduce my monthly payments, avoid foreclosure, etc.}.

My problems began {date}, when{reasons for financial hardship, such as death, divorce, medical issues, etc.; be specific}. Since then, I have had {amount in dollars} per month, which has to go to {other areas where you need to send your money each month}.

I am not trying to avoid my responsibilities, and I am embarrassed that I am even in this position in the first place. To begin this process, I can offer the solution of {a certain amount per month, a short sale, a reduction of what you owe, etc.}, with the hopes that you will find this suitable. I know that we all want to avoid {foreclosure, repossession, collections agency, etc.}, so please contact me as soon as possible and we can discuss the options.


{Sender Name}

Writing A Hardship Letter To Social Security

A hardship letter to Social Security is also known as a “dire need” letter. Only certain situations are classed as dire need, so it is very important that you consider those. Disability claimants, in particular, are commonly affected by financial hardship. They may not be able to obtain their needed medication, go to hospital for treatment, or meet the expenses for their critical care. On top of that, they struggle to pay their standard monthly expenses, such as mortgage, rent, and utilities.

Dire Need According to the Social Security Administration

It would seem that those types of situations would always be classed as “dire need”. Unfortunately, the Social Security Administration (SSA) does not agree. The reality is that the SSA does not truly care when a disability claimant, or other Social Security benefit claimant, ends up with crumbling finances that make it impossible for them to live a decent life. They will evaluate the concerns when a hardship letter is received and process the claim, but you should never assume that the claim will be accepted.

The Process at the SSA for Evaluating a Claim

If you have sent a hardship letter, you will have already gone through the original claim in which you requested certain benefits. Several standard reconsideration steps can be followed should you not agree with the decision made based on your initial application. Eventually, you will have to request a hearing in front of an administrative law judge (ALJ), at which point the Office of Disability Adjudication Review (ODAR) will determine whether your situation is truly dire or not. In the past, this was done by the Office of Hearings and Appeals. Unfortunately, this is a lengthy process and, by this time, the original claim might have been initially made as much as a year ago, if not more.

Write to the Nearest ODAR office of the SSA

One of the best things you can do is send your hardship letter to the SSA directly to your nearest ODAR office. In so doing, you may be able to expedite the process substantially, sometimes by as much as several months. To achieve this, however, you must ensure that your letter includes enough details and compelling evidence to show that your financial situation is truly unmanageable. You should also include photocopies of things, such as your income, your expenses, and late payment notices from your mortgage provider, landlord, or utility providers, and so on. You must also be able to prove that you have already made all possible attempts to lower your expenses.

Unfortunately, even if you write directly to the ODAR office and they agree to give you a hearing sooner than usual, you will still have to wait several months in total. On the other hand, those few months may just prevent you from losing everything that you earned before you became disabled in the first place. You should also make sure that you write hardship letters to your creditors, so that they are aware of your situation and the fact that you are awaiting an appeal with the ODAR office. They are more likely to be more lenient than the SSA after all.

{Your Name}
{Your Address}
{Your Phone Number}

{Financial Institution Name}
{Phone Number}
ATTN: {contact person}

To Whom It May Concern:
I am writing this letter to request that my Social Security disability claim be processed as a dire need case. I understand that the process is long and difficult for many people, but I believe that I may qualify for critical need.

My situation constitutes dire need because {only possible situations: 1. This is a military casualty case, 2. This is a compassionate allowance case, 3. I am homicidal or suicidal, 4. I have a terminal illness, 5. I cannot afford food, medicine, or shelter}. I am attaching {doctor’s prognosis, psychiatrist’s analysis, military discharge papers, etc.} as proof that my circumstances are critical.

I fervently hope that this case can go through quickly, as my condition is rapidly becoming more burdensome. I am currently unable to {detailed description of your current limitations}. I believe that with my disability claim I could {description of what you would do with the money}.

I appreciate your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you soon concerning this matter.


{Sender Name}

Writing A Funeral Cost Hardship Letter

When someone you care about passes away, and particularly if this is unexpected, you may find yourself in shock not just because of the sad passing, but also because of the significant burial and funeral expenses. It is quite common for people to neglect saving up for their funeral, which means that their loved ones left behind have to scrimp and scramble to come up with the money that is required. That said, hardship funds exist as well, so you may want to consider writing a funeral cost hardship letter.

There are a number of different associations that you can write to in order to ask for a hardship grant. These include government employee funds, mutual aid associations, and religious organizations. You will usually have to be a member of these groups in order to apply for them, and they tend to have their own specific requirements in terms of what you should put in the hardship letter.

Social Security

The most commonly used program is Social Security. As a surviving spouse, you are entitled to a lump sum death benefit, which is designed to pay for the funeral costs. You will also start receiving monthly Social Security checks if you are entitled to them. Social Security has standard forms for this.

For Military Personnel

You may also attempt to access the charitable organizations associated with the U.S. Army, Marines, Air Force, and Navy. They each have their own requirements in terms of what you have to supply and demonstrate. Their criteria for economic hardship will also vary. You may also want to consider the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Naturally, these benefits are only available to those who have served in one of those departments.

Special Tragic Circumstances

You may also be classed as having “special tragic circumstances”. For instance, your loved one may have died as the result of a crime, negligence of another organization, or a natural disaster. If so, then you may be able to access crime victim grants through the Department of Justice or your local police department. You can also check out the forms at the FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Association), which has grants available for natural disaster victims.

State Department of Human Services

Different state, county, and city governments may also have grants and funds available to help people cover the costs of funeral expenses. In most cases, you should contact the State Department of Human Services for this. They will supply you with the relevant forms and explain to you how to write your hardship letter. If your loved one, or you, has already received certain state benefits, burial help may be available to you as well.

It is important to learn the guidelines in relation to how much money you can receive towards a burial or cremation. You will usually not receive any of these funds yourself. Rather, they will be paid to the funeral parlor that you have chosen to conduct the service. In most cases, you will have to fill out a reimbursement form with a letter explaining your hardship. Although all of that may sound complicated, don’t worry because help is available.

Writing A Funeral Cost Hardship Letter Examples

{Phone #}


Dear {memorial society/burial claims agency}:

I am reaching out to your {nonprofit/agency} in the hopes of receiving financial assistance relating to funeral and burial services for my mother, who {has died/is dying}.

I’ve spoken with {funeral home} and the director there, {name}, told me about your fund. {Director} is willing to discount fees and is even offering {a casket at wholesale pricing}. However, I will still be responsible for {amount}. Even that is too much for me to absorb. If you’re able to contribute {amount}, that will ease the burden and allow me to participate in the funeral home’s payment plan.

Nearly all of my financial resources have been depleted due to {end-of-life care/taking time off work/etc.}.

Please consider assisting me in honoring my mother’s wishes for a funeral and traditional casket burial.


{Sender Name}

Writing A Hardship Distribution 401k Letter

Some people may realize at some point in their life that they need to make use of their retirement savings in order to meet their financial obligations. By opting for an early 401k withdrawal, they are often able to stay afloat just long enough to get back on their feet. To do this, they must write a hardship distribution 401k letter. The steps in writing it are described below.

1. Meet the Relevant Criteria

The IRS (Internal Revenue Service) will only accept an early withdrawal if the account holder can demonstrate “immediate and heavy financial need“. This means that it must be used to pay for funeral expenses, repairing extreme property damage, stopping an eviction, paying for educational expenses, buying a primary residence, or medical care. Details are listed in Reg. 1.401(k)-1(d)(3)(1).

2. Format It Properly

Next, speak to your broker or HR department to ensure that you are addressing the letter to the right people. The document you write should be free from spelling and grammatical errors. It should highlight your personal details, as well as your account number. Do also complete some online research for samples of opening sentences.

3. Draft Your Letter

Your letter should start with an explanation of your circumstances. Include any evidence of this as attachment. Explain why the only recourse you can see is an early withdrawal. Be specific about the amount and state that you know the consequences of doing this. Make sure to include any dates on which you have missed payments as well.

4. Edit Your Letter

As much as possible, your letter should be no longer than one page. Your desired outcome should be one of the first things that you mention. Take out any of the details that were added in the draft that are obvious and make sure to stick to facts and avoid showing any emotion.

5. Proofread and Send the Letter

One you have edited your letter, you need to proofread it. If at all possible, you should ask someone else to do it for you. If not, leave the letter overnight and read it the next day. Read it aloud as well, to make sure that it sounds right. Include all the relevant attachments and make sure that you photocopy everything. Date your letter and send it, and make sure that you request a return receipt.

6. Follow Up

Do not accept silence as a response to your letter. Call your fund manager, your contact in HR, or your broker after a week, even if it is just to make sure that the letter has been received. Make sure that you have also consulted with your tax preparer or accountant. This is all about being proactive and understanding what is going to happen next. If your request is accepted, for instance, you may not be able to contribute to your plan for between six months and a year.

There are never any guarantees that a hardship letter will be accepted favorably. However, with these tips, you may greatly increase your chances. Do remember that withdrawing from your retirement account should be a last resort only.

Hardship Distribution 401k Letter Example

{Phone #}


Dear {fund manager}:

Due to immediate and heavy financial need, I must now apply for hardship distribution of funds in my 401(k), as allowed under IRS “safe harbor” regulations.

I am now responsible for {medical expenses/purchase of a principal residence/mortgage payments/tuition/repairs to my residence/funeral expenses}. These costs far exceed the amount of cash or credit I am able to access.

I am seeking to withdraw {amount}, which is only the amount necessary to satisfy this immediate need. I cannot obtain funds from any other source or by liquidating assets.

I understand that I will be taxed on the amount distributed and that I may face additional related taxes.


{Sender Name}

Writing A Hardship Fund Application Letter

There are numerous situations in which you may need to write a hardship letter. Depending on your situation and which fund you are writing to, the things that have to be included in the letter will vary substantially. In the vast majority of cases, the letter is designed to appeal for funds to pay for an unexpected expense, such as a funeral, or to ask a creditor for an extension on costs. Either way, there are a number of key things that you have to include in your hardship letter.

How to Write a Hardship Fund Application Letter

The key thing to remember is that you need to be open and honest about your situation. If you have waited for a very long time with writing your letter, particularly if it is in relation to a loan or a mortgage, you also have to outline why you did not consider communicating with your creditor sooner. The letter should not be one in which you beg, but rather one in which you explain what is wrong, why you need help, how long you will need help, and what you aim to do in order to get back on track.

Checklist of Requirements

There are a few things that you have to remember to include in your hardship letter. It doesn’t matter whom you are writing it to. There are a number of criteria that you have to meet. Usually, you also have to follow a specific format. Hence, find out those requirements first. Your letter should, at the very least, include:

  • Your personal details
  • The date it was written
  • Your case or customer number, if you have one
  • The type of hardship request you want to make
  • Why you are in hardship
  • How you have tried avoiding being in hardship, and why this was unsuccessful
  • How you intend to improve your situation
  • Your gratefulness for the consideration given to you
  • Details of any documents that you have included to support your letter

Overall, your letter should be just one page long. Make sure that you ask someone to proofread it for you. You have to make sure that there are no mistakes in the letter.

When Can You Not Write a Hardship Letter

Hardship describes a situation in which you are truly not able to meet certain responsibilities due to situations beyond your control. You are not, for instance, in hardship if you spent your savings on a five star all inclusive vacation and then found that your mortgage monthly amortization cannot be paid. If you have voluntarily left your job or reduced your hours, if you chose not to have certain forms of common insurance in place, or if you are unwilling to remove certain unnecessary expenses from your budget, then it is unlikely that you will be accepted for a hardship grant.

Nobody wants to be in a situation where they need to write a hardship letter. However, certain situations do happen and it is important to know that help is out there for you. Writing a letter is not overly complicated if you follow the tips provided above.

Hardship Fund Application Letter Example

{Phone #}


Dear {Hardship Fund board/administrator}:

I would like to apply for financial relief under the {name of hardship fund}. As an {employee/union member}, I realize the {strike/work stoppage/temporary layoff} was necessary. However, our family just doesn’t have the financial cushion to weather the time without a paycheck.

Our savings and monetary resources are limited due to {reason}. Therefore, we can only go without salary for {time period} before {we face eviction/utilities are shut off/etc.}. A grant of just {amount} would be enough to stave off disaster.

Thank you for considering offering relief. The generosity of {donors/union members/etc.} is much appreciated.


{Sender Name}

Writing A Job Termination Appeal Hardship Letter

If your employment has been terminated, it is still possible for you to appeal that decision, particularly if you can demonstrate financial hardship. Employers usually have specific human resources (HR) policies and procedures in place in terms of how they want to see an appeal presented, and what steps need to be taken. Hence, do make sure that you look into the relevant policy and follow the specified procedure.

Reasons Why the Appeal May Be Granted

There are many reasons as to why you may feel your appeal should be granted. Perhaps you were terminated based on incorrect or incomplete evidence, for instance, or perhaps you feel the entire process has been unfair. Hardship, however, is not always accepted by an employer, although it does depend on the reason for termination. It is for this reason that you must be very clear about why you are writing in the first place.

How to Write a Job Termination Appeal Hardship Letter

You must ensure that your letter is properly written in a professional format, and that it is free from grammatical and spelling mistakes. It should also be short and to the point, being no more than one page in length.

The letter is a formal request, so you must make sure it is clear as to what you are requesting. Hence, you must highlight why your employment has been terminated, the financial hardship you now find yourself in, and your suggestion to ameliorate the situation. There are numerous situations in which your employment could have been terminated, including:

  • Disciplinary action
  • Redundancy
  • End of contract
  • Refusal to make changes to contracts

Because this is in relation to employment laws, it is usually recommended to make use of the services of a professional. You can choose to see an employment lawyer, or perhaps you can have a union representative working on your side. With professional representation, you have bigger chance of actually following the established procedure and being successful.

What Must Be in the Letter

Writing your letter should begin with the correct form of address, sending it to the person who will make the decision. You must then explain that you are formally appealing the termination of your contract. If it was terminated because of your performance, and you only want to appeal based on hardship, not based on new evidence, then you must, in the letter, admit that your performance was substandard.

The hardship element of a termination of employment is a complex one. In many cases, termination causes hardship, and this could be a sufficient reason to have the decision overturned. In other cases, it is hardship that caused your performance to be below what is expected, and this eventually led to your termination. It is very important that you are clear, open, and honest about this.

Whether or not the termination of employment will actually be reconsidered, you can never be sure. It is not common for leniency to be shown, but you also don’t have anything to lose by at least giving it a try. So long as you are open and honest, your request should at least be considered.

Job Termination Appeal Hardship Letter Example

{Phone #}


Dear {supervisor}:

Since I’ve already been terminated, I feel I have nothing to lose by laying it all out there. Please consider this my appeal of my firing from {position} on {date}.

Working for {company} has been the highlight of my career. I still can’t wrap my head around how {incident} led to me losing a job I truly loved.

What I haven’t told you is that I’ve been under a huge amount of stress due to {describe severe and private personal matter}. It was all too much. I’m ashamed that I let things build up; I truly believe that’s what led to {incident}. I’ve taken steps to get a handle on what’s going on in my private life, and how to keep it from spilling into the workplace.

Please take another look at my performance reviews. They are all stellar. Please check my {sales records/customer feedback}. Please think back on our interactions with one another; we have always had a respectful working relationship. Please ask my coworkers if I am someone they’d trust to have their back.

Please reconsider.

If I could take back {incident}, I would do so in a heartbeat. Since I cannot, I can only tell you how much I regret what happened, and how intensely I would rededicate myself to my job if I were reinstated.

I am open to any performance improvement plan, job reassignment, or disciplinary action the company feels appropriate.

Thank you very much for your consideration. Regardless, I wish only the best for you and the company in the future.


{Sender Name}

Writing A Property Tax Hardship Letter

If you are experiencing financial hardship, which means your finances are affected by something that is beyond your control, you may be able to get some relief by writing to a government agency to ask for some relief on your property taxes. It should be noted, however, that even if your request is accepted because you can genuinely prove your hardship, your debt will not be forgiven. Rather, you will be offered some sort of deferral instead.

Possible Reasons to Allow a Property Tax Deferral

There are some legitimate reasons that are generally accepted for property tax deferral. These include unemployment, activated military personnel, a death in the family, sudden illness or disability, failed business, and separation or divorce. However, it all depends on the state, so you should find out the rules that apply to you specifically before writing your letter. It is also common that there are some special programs for certain demographics such as the elderly and disabled, as well as for other groups of people. Most states offer these programs to:

  1. Those who have owned their property for at least five years
  2. Those who run a nonprofit organization but still have to pay state taxes. If their property is now used for things that state legislature renders exempt, they may apply as well.
  3. Widows and widowers of military veterans with low income
  4. Those over the age of 60
  5. People with a disability that forced them into early retirement because they are no longer able to work.
  6. A natural disaster that has affected an entire geographical area
  7. Long-term occupants
  8. Veterans returning from active duty

How to Write a Property Tax Hardship Letter

When you write your letter, one of the most important things to do is to include all documented evidence for your hardship. Your federal income tax statements, copies of outstanding debts, payslips, and other such documents should all be included. Keep the letter short and to the point, and present only the facts.

If you are granted an exemption on your property taxes, you will have to pay them the following year. Hence, you need to start preparing for this, as you will effectively have a double bill. One way to do this is to speak to your mortgage provider and create an escrow. This means that you pay a little bit more every month, and this money is then held in an account for you in order to pay your taxes. For many, this is a great way to prevent having to pay a large, unmanageable sum at the end of the year. Hence, you may also need to write a letter to your lender in order to explain your situation. However, that should be done after you have heard from the tax office.

Meanwhile, remember that a hardship letter is a formal document. It should be properly written and addressed to the right person. Keep it short and to the point, with references to the pieces of evidence that you supply. Try to avoid becoming emotional, as the tax office is interested in facts, not in feelings.

A Property Tax Hardship Letter Example

{Phone #}


Dear {assessor}:

I am positive that my assessment of {amount} is in error.

I would like to request a review. The parcel number is {number}.

If the amount is based on the property description listed on the Assessor’s Office website, that explains the error. Rather than {square footage/bedrooms/etc.} listed, in actuality {the garage has been torn down/there is only one bathroom/the room sizes are off}.

Here’s a list of other discrepancies between your report and the reality of my property:




As a layperson, I looked at the market value of similar homes and used {source} to calculate the reduced value of the property. Based on this, I believe I owe closer to {amount}.

Attached, please find {appraisal report from my recent refinance attempt} as well as {a letter from my real estate agent listing major repairs I’d need to undertake to make the home sellable}.

Paying {assessed amount} would create a severe hardship to my family. I look forward to the review and a revised bill.


{Sender Name}