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Sample Coronavirus Hardship Letter

COVID-19 has had an impact on every person’s life. Tragically, many people have lost their lives to the virus. Countless others face the loss of their loved ones, homes, jobs, retirement accounts, and more. For people with upcoming deadlines, it may be a good idea to write a coronavirus hardship letter to ask for an extension.

Thankfully, some companies extended their payment deadlines automatically. Others expect to do the same for customers who request it. Keep reading to learn more about how to write a hardship letter. We’ve also included a sample coronavirus hardship letter below.

Components of a Coronavirus Hardship Letter

The definition of a hardship is malleable according to the institution you’re writing too. However, most institutions understand the widespread effects of the coronavirus. This generally makes it easier to get the message across to the institution you’re writing to.

In fact, the people who read the letter on behalf of the institution are going through the same hardship. The coronavirus hardship letter is unique for this reason. But it still calls for other important factors.

  • First Paragraph

The first paragraph should be short and concise. For example, if you’re requesting a deadline for the next payment due on a loan, state that in two to four sentences. There will be plenty of opportunity to explain yourself more later.

  • Next Two to Four Paragraphs

Now’s the time to explain how the coronavirus has affected your ability to pay the bill or payment on time. Explain the details and include documentation that supports the details you discuss.

In other words, if your employer laid you off, detail the circumstances in your letter. Explain that because of the “Stay at Home” order made by California governor, Gavin Newsom, you’re unable to work.

Although the rest of the story may seem obvious, take the time to spell it out. Include your last pay stub or an unemployment insurance paystub.

Share that you’ve explored other options to avoid making a payment late. Feel free to share what those options were and why they won’t work. It wouldn’t hurt to include that you’re committed to making your payments as agreed, and that the situation is out of your control.

  • Other Items to Include

Finally, be sure to include basic contact information like your name, address, phone number and email address. Also, include your account number and if possible, another piece of identifying information. This can include your birth date or social security number, depending on the agency you’re writing to.

Be Honest and Humble

Although it seems like writing a coronavirus hardship letter is quite humbling, many hardship letters don’t read that way. It can feel natural to blame your employer for laying you off or your bank for charging too much interest. Maybe you can blame your spouse’s employer or the governor of California for making the “stay at home” order, too.

You may be putting all the blame in the right places, but it rubs people the wrong way. After all, the people making the decision on your hardship letter are only people. For that reason, it’s also important to be honest.

An unrealistic story is also likely to rub people the wrong way. There’s no need to exaggerate circumstances around the hardship. That especially applies to hardships centered around coronavirus.

Other Tips for a Coronavirus Hardship Letter

The overall message of a hardship letter needs to be, “There’s no other way.” Institutions don’t want to have to grant hardship letter requests. They want to be your first priority.

But they also understand that life isn’t perfect, nor is it always easy. For that reason, it’s important to paint the picture that there’s no other way to get through this difficult time. As we mentioned above, a coronavirus hardship letter is unique in that way.

That’s because the adversity of coronavirus hardly needs to be explained to anyone. However, you still need to include it in your letter.

Furthermore, exclude information that shines an objectively negative light on you. The institution you’re writing to may decide that you don’t particularly need the help. That is if you spent all your money gambling or couldn’t make any money because you were in jail.

Also, avoid sharing other alternatives for getting the money. For example, don’t mention that your rich father-in-law will give you the money if the letter you’re writing is ineffective. Your institution will likely deny your request and expect you to borrow it from your rich father-in-law instead.

How to Write a Sample Coronavirus Hardship Letter

We’ll include a sample coronavirus hardship letter below. While we encourage you to consider all the points above, write an original letter. Letters from templates or that don’t clearly correspond with your situation will be a turn-off.

Institutions don’t expect you to have a degree from Harvard in writing hardship letters, but it’s good to use basic reading and writing skills. In other words, proofread, spell check, and proofread your letter again.

Coronavirus Hardship Letter Example:



[Name of Bank Contact] [Bank Contact’s Job Title] [Bank Name] [Bank Street Address] [Bank City, State, Zip]


Re:      [Your Name] [Your Address] [Your City, State, Zip] [Your Contact Phone Number] [Your Account Number]


Dear Mr./Mrs. Bank Contact:

I’m writing this letter to ask for a payment [extension/deferment/etc.]. My employer had to lay off everyone in my position because of the coronavirus. A [one/two/three]-month [extension/deferment/etc.] will be enough for me to overcome this hardship and get back onto a regular payment schedule.

As a [job title] at [company name], I’m not an essential worker and therefore, my employer laid me off temporarily. I’m scheduled to return to work after the state governor lifts the “Stay at Home” order.

I tried to get a short-term personal loan, as well as looked for supplemental work among other efforts to earn money. But they haven’t been fruitful. As a last resort, I’m hopeful that you’ll [extend/defer] by next [one/two/three] payments.

I look forward to your prompt response.


[Sign Here in Ink] [Print Your Name] [Your Email Address]


hardship letter/hardship discharge

The 5 Most Common Hardship Scenarios to Use a Letter of Hardship

Few people get to go through life without worrying about money. At some point, nearly everyone has experienced some financial hardship, be it through job loss, medical bills, a natural disaster, or just bad luck.

When it happens, you have to decide who to pay first, who you can postpone, and how to feed your pets. You also want the hardship to have the least amount of impact on your credit rating. Most lenders and government bodies are willing to work with you if the worst happens, and the best strategy is to communicate clearly to them what has happened to you.

Using a letter of hardship is often the best way to communicate your situation to your bank, mortgage lender, or any other entity to whom you owe money. Although most creditors are willing to help their customers, they are picky about what constitutes a financial hardship. Let’s take a look at some scenarios in which a letter of hardship would apply:

Changes in Income or Expenditure

Have you had your pay cut or just had a baby? Maybe a roommate moved out without paying their share of the rent, or your car engine died? These unexpected changes can wreak havoc on your finances and cause real problems for you and anyone who depends on you.

If you’re like many Americans, you might not have enough savings to pull you through until your situation is corrected, so this may be a scenario in which to use a hardship letter.

Changes in Employment Status

One of the most demoralizing life events is the loss of employment. It can be a blow to your self-esteem as well as a shock to your bank account. If you’re lucky, you may receive a severance or referral to another company, but often it’s just you left wondering what’s going to happen to you.

You also may have had your work hours cut, or had your position downgraded. The result is the same: a seemingly permanent loss of desperately needed income.

Life Events

Sometimes a death in the family can cause terrible chaos if the deceased left significant debts or other financial responsibilities to their survivors. They may not have left enough money for funeral expenses.

Relationship breakdowns such as divorce or separation can lead to significant hardship for one or both parties since their living arrangements are likely to change. Moving to a single income from a combined income is most certainly a financial hardship.

Injury or Illness

These can cause unmatched upheaval in anyone’s life. Small injuries won’t significantly affect a person’s ability to make money, but more extensive injuries such as loss of limbs, car accidents, or head injuries could easily constitute a financial hardship.

The same goes for illness. Even people with the best genes in the world can get sick and incur hefty medical bills in a hurry. If you must pay for your care out of pocket, you’re going to have a bad time.

Natural Disaster or Emergency

It’s hard to say which of these occurrences is the worst, but when the world itself causes you harm, it feels disastrous and can raze your entire life. Depending on where you live, you could fall victim to earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, and blizzards. Flood damage from these storms destroys homes, businesses, and roads.

Creditors are generally very understanding under these circumstances, but it is still a good idea to assume they won’t be and put together a letter of hardship.

What’s In a Hardship Letter?

Hardship letters are meant to request a particular favor from your creditor. You are asking for a deferment or new, temporary terms outside of your original agreement.

Hardship letters contain specific information about your circumstances, how they changed, how your creditor can help you, and how you are helping yourself out of your situation.

Here are some qualities of a good hardship letter to follow if you need to write one:

Be concise – Keep it to a single page. Don’t take up two paragraphs talking about the specifics of your family and pets. Use two or three sentences to explain what has happened to you, and leave room on the page for the rest of the information.

Be specific – Tell your creditor exactly how you’d like them to help you. Do you want to defer payments? Do you want to pay half for six months and lower your interest rate? If you give them a realistic baseline, they have something to work with to begin helping you.

Be detailed – Use dates and specifics. If you lost your job, tell them exactly when you started and ended. If you were discharged from the military, say the same and the reason for discharge. Bad things happen to good people; don’t be afraid to be honest with them.

Be realistic about the future – Let your creditor know if you think your situation is going to change, and if so, when it will. You can’t predict the future, but you can have an idea of how long your situation might last.

If You Need Help

If you are in a position where you need to write a hardship letter, you can get help quickly. There are different letters for different situations.

Sometimes the type of creditor will dictate what type of help they can offer you. For instance, a mortgage lender doesn’t want to foreclose, but likely can’t change your interest rate. A credit card company can change your interest rate and payments. Many companies give special treatment to military and first responders.

Take a look at our templates and see if you find a letter that suits your needs. They’re there to help you. Good luck!

hardship letter/hardship discharge

How to Write a Hardship Letter for a Military Hardship Discharge

By the end of 2018, the US Armed Forces consisted of 450,000 soldiers.

The majority of those men and women are bound to an eight-year contract. Unlike most other employers, that contract gives the army far more control over your working life – and your ability to leave.

One of the few ways you can get out of that contract early is to apply for a hardship discharge. Though the qualifying conditions are difficult to meet, proving that your family requires you more than the military can get you home to help.

Keep reading to learn how to apply and what needs to be included in your letter.

What is a Hardship Discharge?

If your family finds themselves in a situation in which you’re the only solution, a hardship discharge may be the answer. In these cases, you need to demonstrate that your family problem can only be resolved by your discharge.

Situations that qualify for a hardship discharge include having sick parents that are dependent on your assistance. It may involve a spouse or child(ren) that requires your care or a financial situation in the family that can only be rectified with your presence 

In these situations, the US armed forced allows members to apply for an early release. This type of discharge is based on genuine or undue hardship that meets the following conditions.

  • The situation is considered severe
  • The situation isn’t temporary
  • The situation has gotten worse as a result of your being in the military
  • The situation developed as a result of your being in the military
  • All other avenues for rectifying the situation have been explored and attempted prior to applying for a discharge
  • Your leaving the military is the only way in which to resolve the situation

When you apply for a hardship discharge, you may get granted separation from the army under an Honorable or General characterization. But it can also result in a transfer to the inactive reserves. In the case the hardship isn’t seen as permanent, you may be reassigned to a base closer to your home.

How to Write a Hardship Discharge Letter

To be sure, it’s not easy to get approval for a hardship discharge. The US Armed Forces have set strict standards for these types of discharges, and many service people find that they don’t qualify.

This is why your hardship discharge letter and application is so important. Take the time to carefully think through your claim and why it’s so important that you’re available for your family. You also need to ensure you meet all the basic criteria.

To increase the chances that your hardship discharge is approved, follow the guidelines below.

Basic Information

When your family is in dire need of your help, it’s easy to make the common mistakes of a hardship letter and forget the basic items you need to include on your application. These include the names, ages, and addresses of you and your family members. But you should also include the names, ages, and addresses of other immediate family members.

Keep in mind that if you’ve previously applied for emergency leave, hardship discharge, or humanitarian reassignment, you’ll have to include the dates of those requests. 

Most Important Information

After providing the most basic information required for your hardship discharge, you’ll have to start gathering the facts and reasons for your leave. The majority of your statement letter must include:

  • A description of the hardship, including the history of hardship when applicable. Includes names, dates, and places and be very specific in your description of the problem at hand.
  • A description of what you or your family has done thus far to try and rectify the situation.
  • A description of how your presence is going to improve or resolve the problem. Include what your immediate plans are.

Remember that approval of your request hinges on the decision of officials that don’t know you, your family, or the situation at hand. You should be as clear, factual, and specific as possible to increase your chance of approval. Don’t leave any detail out of the story. 

Supporting Statements

As part of your hardship letter, you’ll need to include supporting statements from your family members. You’ll need a statement from the family member(s) directly affected by your absence. But you’ll also need a statement from at least two people outside of your family.

First, have the person experiencing the hardship write a statement. In the case they’re unable to write the statement themselves, they can have someone write it on their behalf. This will serve as proof for your hardship claim. 

This statement includes much of the same information in your own letter. They should describe what the specific hardship is, why they can’t resolve it on their own, and why they can’t seek help from someone other than you.

Second, you’ll need at least two statements from people outside of your family who know and understand the situation. This might include neighbors, employers, or doctors.

Other Documents

Beyond your own statement, that of your family, and those from outside sources, you may also need to include other supporting documents. These include:

  • If part of your resolution is to seek employment to help your family, you should provide a letter from the prospective employer. The letter should be notarized and include information such as the type of employment, the salary, and your schedule.
  • If the hardship involves illness or disability, you should include a statement from any doctors involved in that person’s care. This statement should include dates, diagnosis, and prognosis.
  • If the reason for your leaving is related to a financial situation, you must provide an itemized budget.
  • In the case that death is related to your hardship, you must provide a copy of the death certificate.

The types of documents you need to provide are wholly dependent on your situation. But in most cases, the more proof you can provide, the better your chance of approval.

Ensuring You’re Successful

A military hardship discharge is a difficult discharge to qualify for. It involves a carefully considered letter and lots of supporting documentation. The armed forces are reluctant to let go of their soldiers before their contract is up, and it can be hard to convince them of your case.

But a carefully considered hardship discharge letter can make or break your case. For more resources on writing your letter and what you should include, consult our hardship letter blog for tips and advice.


student loan hardship

Student Loan Hardship: How to Use Financial Hardship to Lower Your Loan Payments

There is a growing problem in America. Student loans have gotten out of control, and more borrowers are suffering under student loan hardship.

It’s easy to see why. The student loan crisis is reaching a tipping point. People owe more in student loans than credit card debt.

There are 4.7 million borrowers in default of their student loans. You don’t need to be one of them. If you’re experiencing financial hardship, there are programs in place to be able to pay your loans without defaulting.

Keep reading to learn what you can do about your student loans when you’re experiencing financial hardship.

America’s Financial Problem

Between economic disparity and stagnant wages, it’s easy to see how we got to this point. In 2017, graduates left school with a degree and $37,000 in debt.

This amount of debt leaves recent graduates with a choice. Do they buy a home or do they pay off their student loans

They have little savings, have put off major life decisions like having children and getting married. They find that the weight of this burden is stressful.

It’s not just 20-somethings that struggle with student loans. People of all ages, even those in their sixties have reported having student loan hardship. That impacts their ability to save for retirement.

Repayment Options for Student Loan Hardship

There are options to repay your student loans if you’re experiencing financial hardship. It doesn’t need to be the end of the world. You just need to know your options.


You want to lower or temporarily stop your student loan payments when you’re dealing with financial hardship. You may be able to do that through forbearance. Your ability to apply will depend on your lender.

Those with a private student loan will have to check with their lender to see if this is a possibility. Federal student loans do offer forbearance as a temporary solution to financial hardship.  

If you see your student loan hardship as a temporary situation, you can apply for forbearance for two months. You won’t have to make payments during this time.

Forbearance is available for only 12 months out of the life of your loan. In a 20-year repayment plan, you want to use this option sparingly.

This could work for you if you’re in-between jobs and you know for sure that it’s a temporary situation. Under forbearance, you are responsible for the interest that accrues during the forbearance period, whether your loans are subsidized or not.


A deferment is similar to forbearance, but interest does not accrue on subsidized loans. With unsubsidized loans, the interest will accrue and that will be added onto the balance that is owed.

You can apply for an economic hardship deferment by contacting your lender. The deferment is good for up to three years. You’ll need to provide your lender with documentation to prove your financial hardship.

Both deferments are forbearance are short-term solutions to student loan hardship, ideally for six months or less.

Income-Based Repayment

Long-term solutions to student loan hardship can be used to lower your monthly payments. That could be enough to give you a little breathing room in your budget. These are called income-driven repayment plans or IDRs.

Income-based repayment (IBR) is one of the more popular options. Your repayment plan is 10-15% of your discretionary income. With this plan, you’ll go from a 20-year repayment plan to 25 years.

At the end of the 25 years, whatever the remaining balance left will be forgiven. Before you get too excited about that, know that the forgiven amount will be treated by the IRS as taxable income, leaving you with a huge tax bill that year.

Most federal loans are eligible for IBR. Your interest will accrue on unsubsidized loans, which can increase the balance of your loans over the repayment period.


Pay as you earn is similar to the IBR program, but there are more stringent requirements. You must have started borrowing on or after October 1, 2007, and you have borrowed through the Direct Loan program.

The main advantages are that your payments are capped at 10% of your discretionary income and interest can be limited.

PAYE may ask that come loans are consolidated before they’re approved. Under this program, your loans are forgiven after 20 years, instead of 25.

Employers Assist with Student Loans

Companies want to attract the best and brightest to work for them. They’re starting to recognize the stress that student loans have on their employees. That stress can impact how they do their jobs and impact productivity.

Employers are starting to offer student loan repayment as part of their benefits package. They’ll offer to make a monthly payment to student loans, while you make a monthly payment as well. That can save you a lot in payments.

As of right now, note that these payments are seen as taxable income by the IRS. While these payments can ease the burden of student loans, they can create another mess with the IRS.

There is a law pending in Congress that may allow these contributions to be tax-free. Contact your legislators to get your voice heard.

Help for Student Loan Hardship

Student loans have become a massive burden for Americans of all ages. With student loan debt skyrocketing to unprecedented levels, it has become more difficult for borrowers to repay their student loans.

You don’t need to default on your student loans. There are programs available if you’ve lost a job or have a student loan hardship. The best thing to do is to call your lender and work out a repayment plan that won’t be a massive burden on you.

Would you like more tips about handling debt under financial duress? Check out this article to learn the art of writing financial hardship letters.

financial help

Need Emergency Financial Help? 7 Tips to Deal with a Financial Crisis

Have you endured financial problems? Well, sorry to say, if you haven’t yet then you will. 4 out of 5 Americans will face financial hardship.

Why are financial problems so common? Many different factors point to this.

Unemployment, minimum wage and other underpaid positions force Americans to not afford saving or budgeting. This is why many Americans live in the poverty line and are forced to accept welfare and food stamps.

Financial problems can easily cause feelings of stress and even depression. But you always have options. If you need financial help, use these 8 tips to get you back on your feet.

1. Don’t Overspend During Times of Financial Crisis

Many Americans can’t keep a budget. While not making enough money is one of them, another culprit is not knowing when to stop spending.

In 2017, Americans racked up $92.2 billion worth in credit card debt! And it’s not surprising why. We live in a society where stores, restaurants, and other specialty goods are shoved in our faces.

If you’re in a financial crisis, cut back on your spending. Make your money only go toward necessities, such as bills and groceries. Use any extra money toward your savings.

2. Find a Pattern

Is this your first financial crisis? Or are you one of those people who can’t afford anything?

If you’re in the latter, there’s probably a pattern you’re digging yourself into.

If you’re in severe credit card debt, look at how much you’re making versus how much you need to spend. If you don’t spoil yourself with consumer goods and can’t afford basic bills, you’re not making enough money.

Do you always find yourself in the hospital and you get a hefty medical bill? Try switching health insurance or opt to visit a cheaper clinic instead of the ER.

When you identify the source of your financial hardships, you can find a solution.

3. Take Baby Steps

Unfortunately, you can’t wish your financial troubles away. Coming to an immediate solution may not always be easy, especially if you’re thousands in debt.

But you won’t suffer from financial stress forever. Rather than think of the big picture, take baby steps to improve your financial situation.

A good example is finding a way to increase your income. See if you can find a new job, ask for a raise, or get a second job.

4. Keep Tabs on Your Bank Account

Have you heard the song “I’m Too Scared to Check My Bank Account?” This is a song many people can relate to. But you need to face the dragon and check your bank account daily.

This is a great idea for two reasons. Checking your bank account will help you keep better tabs on your money during this financial hardship. You’ll also gain a better knowledge of budgeting and prevent overspending.

For example, if you have $2,000 in your account but need $1,400 toward your rent by next week, you’ll only have $600.

This may seem like a lot, but you’ll need to use that money toward your crisis, want to use put some of that in your savings and use that money toward groceries and gas for the week.

Thinking this way, this prevents you from going out with friends or buying expensive smoothies every day.

5. Write Things Down

Writing is more powerful than we can imagine. When we have financial stress stuck in our head, it makes us feel negative. When we put it in words and write it on paper, those stresses escape our mind and they have an outlet.

Start keeping a daily finance journal. You should start by writing your plan to overcome your financial crisis.

You can keep a spending log of how much you’re spending each day to track your spending. Or, you can just write about how financially stressed you are.

Writing will help take some of the stress away and will help you look at your problems in a logical manner.

6. Reduce Your Expenses

You may love your car and your iPhone, but you have other important expenses to attend to. When you’re stuck in a time of financial hardship, do what you can to reduce your expenses.

Find anything you can sell. This can include a gaming console, jewelry, or anything else you can get a couple hundred of dollars for.

Then, take a look at your monthly expenses. Trade in your smartphone for a cheaper phone and cell phone plan. Then, sell your car or trade your hot sports car in for a cheaper car. See if you can downgrade your apartment.

Reducing these expenses will keep extra money aside so you can better handle your financial crisis.

7. Save, Save, Save!

Are you doing great at budgeting and limiting your expenses? If so, it’s tempting to put all of that money toward your financial crisis.

But hold on! What if you endure another financial crisis again? You won’t have any money before you spent the extra money you had.

Instead, put a percentage of your earnings toward your savings.

In a perfect world, you should save 20% of your income. That means if your yearly salary is $40,000 then you should have $8,000 in your savings account.

In other words, you need to save almost $170 out of your paycheck every week – and you likely can’t afford that if you’re in a financial crisis.

In this case, save something. If you can only save $10 each paycheck, you’ll still have $40 or even $50 extra at the end of the month. This is enough for several nights worth of dinner.

As long as you save a tiny bit of money, you’ll still be better off than if you never saved at all.

Do You Still Need Financial Help?

If you’re in financial help, consider writing a hardship letter. This explains why you’re in financial distress and what you can do to resolve it.

For more help, take a look at our hardship letter examples.

student loan hardship

6 Common Mistakes People Make in Financial Hardship Letters

Almost one-third of Americans are struggling financially to get by.

Even after the 2008 recession, Americans still find it difficult to afford their living expenses and basic needs. Almost half of Americans struggle to find the funds to pay an emergency $400 expense. Leaving these folks to either use a credit card, borrow money from others, or simply not pay.

If you’ve found yourself in this position, then you certainly aren’t alone. In a situation where a financial hardship arises, you may need to ask for a loan modification to lower your monthly payments. A financial hardship letter can grant you some leniency and much-needed relief.

We all know that circumstances out of our control can arise and take a toll. Knowing how to properly write a hardship letter can help you to create space to get back on your feet again. A financial hardship letter for mortgage payments, educational loans, or rent payments may be vital in maintaining your peace of mind during this difficult time.

As beneficial as it is, it’s important to know how to write a hardship letter properly. Read on to learn the mistakes to avoid when writing a financial hardship letter.

How to Write a Hardship Letter: 6 Mistakes to Avoid

1. Writing Too Much

Financial hardship letters should be concise and to the point. Stick to briefly describing the cause of the hardship, actions you’ve taken to amend the situation, and why the hardship will not improve for a period of time.

Aim to stick to around 500 words or less. Depending on the complexity and actions you’ve taken you may need to write more, but always aim to stick to the facts and leave out unnecessary comments or information.

Financial departments are sometimes overrun with financial hardship letters, so it’s best to keep it short to avoid misinterpretations. By keeping your letter short and to the point your lender gets the facts without needing to clarify information. If the information is unclear or misinterpreted then your request could be denied or delayed.

2. Referencing Irresponsible Activites

Your lender needs to know that the financial hardship arose of circumstances out of your control. If you lost your money because of a gambling, drug use, or because of trouble with the law your lender will not be sympathetic. Lenders want to see that even though you attempted to be responsible with your money, a situation or life circumstance occurred that caused financial hardship.

Causes that a lender would be understanding of include a death in the family, a job loss, an illness, or disability. Consult with your lender to see what they qualify as a financial hardship to see if your situation is applicable.

3. Leaving Out Financial Information

Most lenders require that you fill out an application for financial hardship as well as submitting a hardship letter. The application will inquire what your debts are and what you currently make. Your lender will have access to any recent purchases that require a loan such as purchasing a car by pulling your credit report.

If your financial hardship was caused because of purchasing something unnecessary or considered a luxury, then you may not qualify for financial hardship. For example, if you recently purchased a boat and the boat is for recreational use only then your lender will likely not be sympathetic.

Instead, your lender may suggest that you speak with a financial advisor who can educate you about budgeting and making purchases within your means. While this may be frustrating to hear and deal with, it may help you in the long run.

Make sure to include all recent debts to avoid being immediately denied because of leaving out financial information.

If the purchase you made was because of a basic need such as transportation or housing include these debts in your application. Explain the circumstances for needing this expense in your financial hardship letter.

Your lender still may not approve your loan modification request, but if you include all of the necessary financial information you can know that your application was thoroughly assessed. Reference your lender policies to see if your recent debt may forfeit your financial hardship loan modification request.

4. Other Sources of Help

Telling your lender that there’s an option of getting the money from another source of help could ruin your chances of getting qualified. For example, if you say you could borrow $10,000 from your parents, then your lender may consider this as an option for paying your loan instead of granting financial hardship.

Don’t mention hypothetical situations where you could get money from. Stick to the actions you’ve taken to repair the situation and why it’s not improving. Leave out any statement that could be misinterpreted or is truly not an option to rectify your financial situation.

5. Not Stating a Plan of Action

Lenders want to see how you plan on fixing your financial situation based on your current circumstances. They want to know that in the future you will again be able to pay the whole amount. Include in your hardship letter how your current situation will be worked out and how long this may take.

For example, if you recently lost your job and are temporarily unable to pay your mortgage then explain how you intend on paying the full amount as soon as you get another job. The lender wants to see how a loan modification will help you now so you won’t go into default or foreclosure later on.

6. Not Including a Proper Sign-Off

A proper sign-off for a hardship letter should express gratitude to your lender for considering a loan modification. You and your lender are working as a team, but your lender is not required to grant your request. Showing your appreciation can go a long way.

Always sign and date when you sign-off on your hardship letter. If your hardship letter applies to a residence include the address below your signature and date. This lets the lender know which residence you are referencing within your hardship letter.

Feeling More Confident About How to Write a Hardship Letter?

Continue building your confidence by exploring more information about writing hardship letters. To learn more about writing hardship letters, visit our blog.

hardship letter/hardship discharge

The 7 Elements of a Persuasive Hardship Letter

Every day, American’s fall further and further behind financially. You’re doing the best you can, but suffering through a financial hardship really takes a toll.

On top of that stress, you’ve now been told that you need to write a financial hardship letter to get the help you need. It’s probably something you’ve never had to do, until now.

So, what is a financial hardship letter and how do you write one?

Well, it’s a letter that explains in detail the hardship you are experiencing. It helps people understand your difficult situation and how they can best help you. That’s why you need to make it very persuasive.

Here are the most important elements you should include in your hardship letter.

7 Elements of a Persuasive Hardship Letter

1. Make it Personal

This isn’t a business letter. You want the person reading it to identify you as a person, a human being in need. Write your financial hardship letter in your own words, using conversational language.

Be sure to keep it polite. You’re asking for help, after all.

2. Use Dates

You’re going to tell a story in this letter. Use dates to help explain how long it took to get in your current situation.

Make an outline using dates of significant events. Close estimates using month and year are fine. You may need to look back at old statements and documents to figure it out.

Using dates helps keep your story of events in logical order. It also helps the reader understand how long you’ve been trying to fix the problem on your own.

3. Include Specifics

Hardship letters need good examples. You want to include specific things that have happened to put you in this situation. Be direct. Do not exaggerate.

Give examples of the tough things you’ve endured. If you’ve lost your job, say so. Did you become a single parent? Tell the reader how that happened.

Include specific financial data. Numbers tell a financial story that your reader will understand. Here are some examples of financial information that may be persuasive:

  • Mortgage balances, rates, and terms

  • Specific credit card balances and rates

  • Your budget shortfall

  • Tuition, fees and other amounts related to schooling

  • Childcare and other expenses related to raising a family

  • Care and financial support you provide for an aging parent
  • Medical bill balances and prescription fees

The more information you give, the better your reader can understand what you are going through.

4. List Everything You’ve Done to Help Yourself

Most people want to help someone who also helps themselves. Show how you’ve taken responsibility for your situation. Your reader will be more empathetic if they can see you’ve done your best.

Here are a few examples of things that may help:

  • Tried to find employment or a second job

  • Borrowed money from family or friends

  • Built a budget

  • Sent partial payments

  • Worked overtime

List examples that show how you hard you are working on it. This can go a long way in persuading someone in your favor.

5. Explain that You are Trying to Avoid Bankruptcy

The mere mention of filing bankruptcy changes the situation. In a bankruptcy, all credit, collections, and foreclosures are frozen. No bank wants this to happen.

Banks and creditors have a lot more to lose when someone files bankruptcy, so they work much harder to avoid it. In many cases, they will offer new options to help you avoid filing bankruptcy.

Don’t threaten with a bankruptcy. Explain how you are trying to avoid one.

Bankruptcy is the last thing that most people consider. You only do this after all other options have been exhausted. Mention in your letter that, if things continue on this current path, a bankruptcy may be your only option.

Reassure your reader that it’s not the outcome you want. You are trying to avoid bankruptcy, after all. You just need a little help.

6. Ask For What You Need

This is where you ask for help. Explain what you need from this organization. Be as specific as you can.

Make sure you have done your research and have a plan of action. Understand exactly what the organization has to offer and if it will help stabilize your finances. You don’t want to be back in this situation 6 months from now.

  • If you are looking for a loan modification, list out specifically what you are looking for. Want a rate reduction or a change in the loan terms? Say so.

  • Looking for a grace period? Detail the time frame you need. Be specific.

  • Need financial assistance? Ask for the exact amount you need. If you ask for too little, you won’t be in a better place in the long run.

The more specific you can be, the better. Offers that won’t help you, in the long run, are useless. Ask for exactly what you need.

7. Explain How it Will Help

Your hardship letter should explain how your request will help your situation.

The goal is to stabilize your finances. Tell the reader how this will happen if they grant your request:

  • Are you trying to keep your home or sell it in a short sale? Explain how this will help your family live better.

  • Maybe your goal is to consolidate debt. Explain how a single, lower payment would help you pay your bills each month.

  • Trying to get financial assistance? Explain what you will do with the money to help stabilize your finances.

  • Proposing a debt settlement? Show how you will be able to get back on track if you can reduce the amount you owe.

Whatever the request, be sure that you let the organization know how it will help you become stable.

It’s Time to Write

Now that you know how to write hardship letters, it’s time to sit down and do it. Don’t put it off because it’s difficult. Get your hardship letter done and get the help you need.

Looking for more help with writing hardship letters? Check out our samples and advice!

hardship letter

The Ultimate Guide on Writing an Effective Hardship Letter

Are you having an incredibly tough time keeping up with your mortgage payments?

You have the right to contact your mortgage lender and ask them if they’d be willing to modify your loan terms or give you the ability to take part in a short sale.

But before they allow you to do anything, you’ll need to write a hardship letter to your lender and let them know why you think you deserve a loan modification or short sale. Your letter will serve as your opportunity to bring your lender up to speed as far as your financial well-being is concerned.

Writing an effective hardship letter might sound easy. But it’s a little more complicated than you might think. Here’s a guide for writing an effective hardship letter.

Keep Your Hardship Letter as Concise as It Can Be

It’s easy for people to get really carried away when they’re writing a hardship letter. They think they need to list every single bad thing that’s happened to them over the course of the last year to get a lender to believe just how bad things are.

You might be tempted to take this approach when putting together your letter. But rather than going that route, keep your letter concise. Don’t make it any longer than one page.

A lender won’t have all day to sit around and read your entire story. So instead, include the essential details and make every word in your letter count. It’ll improve the chances of your lender actually reading through your whole letter and taking you seriously.

Be Specific With the Request You’re Making to Your Lender

At the beginning of your hardship letter, you should clearly state the request that you’re making of your lender. There shouldn’t be any confusion as far as what you want your lender to do for you.

You might begin by saying something as simple as, “I wish to restructure the terms of my mortgage and get access to a lower interest rate immediately.” This will allow your lender to see exactly what you hope to get out of your letter.

Does that mean they’re going to give it to you? Absolutely not. But it does mean they’ll have a crystal clear idea of what you’re hoping to achieve with your letter.

Explain Your Financial Hardship in Great Detail

Once you’ve gotten your lender’s attention by making a clear request to them, it’ll be time to lay out the financial hardship you’ve experienced. You should be as forthright as possible with this part of the letter.

There are so many reasons why people experience money problems. Some of these reasons include:

  • Unemployment or the sudden loss of income
  • Medical expenses
  • The death of an immediate family member
  • A divorce or separation
  • Military service
  • Unexpected home repairs
  • Incarceration

Pick your reason and tell your lender all about it in one or two paragraphs. Feel free to share all the gory details surrounding your financial struggles.

For example, if you’re $250,000 in the hole because of a medical issue that put your husband in the hospital for three weeks, say that. If the breadwinner in your family passed away and reduced your income significantly, say that.

Your lender should feel your pain and know exactly why you’ve fallen behind on mortgage payments after reading this part of the letter. Make a strong case for yourself without going on for too long.

Let Your Lender Know Your Financial Situation Is Not Going to Change

After you’ve written about why your financial situation is so dire, emphasize the fact that your situation is not going to change.

Many lenders will refuse to adjust the terms of a loan or shut down the idea of a short sale if you’re the slightest bit hopeful about your financial future. If there’s a chance you might get your finances back on track in a month or two, they won’t want to let you out of your current mortgage agreement.

Let your lender know why you’re going to be stuck in a financial bind for the foreseeable future. They’ll be more likely to acquiesce to your request if they think there’s a chance you’re going to fall into an even worse situation eventually.

State Your Request for a Second Time Near the End of Your Letter

When it comes time to close your hardship letter, restate your request from the beginning for a second time just to drive home your point.

Then, thank your lender for taking the time to hear your hardships and carefully consider them. Mention that you’re looking forward to their response and that you want to continue to work with them to make things right.

Revise Your Letter to Make Sure It’s Effective

Before you send your hardship letter to your lender, revise it several times to see if there are any places you can improve. Take out any words that might be difficult for someone to understand and tighten it up so that it’s to the point.

If possible, ask someone you trust to take a look at the letter for you and make recommendations. If you’re currently working with a lawyer, they might be willing to check out your letter and tell you what you could do to make it stronger.

From there, mail your letter off to your lender and hope for the best. You should receive a response from them soon letting you know if they’re willing to honor the request you have made.

Start Putting Together an Effective Hardship Letter Today

Going through a financial hardship isn’t fun at all. But you can get some relief from it if you’re able to write a compelling hardship letter.

You can write hardship letters to mortgage lenders as well as any other lenders that you work with. If you’re convincing enough in your letter, you might just be able to get the help you’re looking for from them.

Check out our blog to learn more tips for putting together effective hardship letters.

Writing A Hardship Letter Driver License

Having a driver license is essential for most people. It allows them to travel to and from work, take their children to school and after-school activities, make hospital appointments, care for elderly relatives, volunteer in the community, and more. However, there are situations in which you may not be able to have a driver license although this could cause you undue hardship. If that is the case, writing a letter to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to explain your situation may allow them to reconsider not granting you a license.

Writing a Hardship Letter Driver License for Young Drivers

One situation in which you may not be able to have a driver license is if you are under 16 years old. While there is no way that you will be granted a license under the age of 14, those who are between 14 and 16 years old may be considered if they can demonstrate hardship. For instance, if you live remotely and you must look after your parents who are disabled, taking a school bus may be too time consuming. It would mean spending several hours per day traveling, hours that are needed to look after your parents. Without your help, they may start to experience undue hardship, not just financially but medically as well.

Writing a Hardship Letter Driver License After Conviction

The other situation in which you may want to write this type of hardship letter, is if your license has been taken away from you. Perhaps you have been convicted of a DUI or overspeeding. If losing your license would mean that you are no longer able to work, which would affect other members of your family, or if it means you can no longer properly look after your loved ones, causing them undue hardship, the DMV may consider the possibility of giving you a license.

Content of the Hardship Letter

In both situations, you must provide significant evidence to demonstrate the hardship caused by not having a license. You must also state that you will be willing to accept any conditions posed on your license. For instance, you may be required to have a vehicle that is fitted with a tracker, and agree to only drive at certain times, on certain routes, and never above a certain speed. If you are willing to meet those conditions, there is a chance that you will be allowed to have, or to retain, a driver license.

Some Advice in Writing the Hardship Letter

When writing a hardship letter, it is incredibly important to stick to facts. While you are in an emotional situation, and one that affects how you feel, the recipient of the letter is not interested in this. They want to know why you can’t have a license and how this affects you, and they want to see documents that prove this. Hence, make sure to keep your letter short and to the point and to attach any documented evidence. Try to make is just one page long, and make sure it is properly addressed and free from any grammatical or spelling errors. Do also send it via registered mail and keep a copy for yourself.

Hardship Letter Driver License Example

{Your Name}
{Your Address}
{Your Phone #}


To Whom It May Concern:

I am writing this letter to apply for a Hardship License. I am {age 14-16} years old and need to drive for job purposes to help support my family.

I am a {grade} in high school and need to get from school to my job every afternoon. My parents work all day and I cannot catch a bus or walk to my place of employment because it is {number} miles from my school. My family situation is {specific dire financial circumstances} and my contribution to our finances is essential.

I understand that this license would be conditional. I would only use the vehicle with the license plate {number} on weekdays to get from {address} to {address} and {address} to {address}. The vehicle would only be in use between {time} and {time}.

I am attaching my application form as well as several character references that elaborate on my circumstances and attest to my responsibility and maturity.


{Sender Name}

Qualified Written Request

Sample Hardship Letter : To perform the most comprehensive forensic loan audit you should compile all of the loan documents you maintain and get all of the loan documents your lender maintains. A Qualified Written Request (QWR) is a written demand to your servicing company. After receiving a QWR, the servicing company has twenty days to respond to the request and forward a copy of all loan documentation on file. The servicing companies also have to suspend all reporting activity to the major credit bureaus and then resolve the issue within sixty days. Federal RESPA laws require the servicing companies to comply and respond within this specified time frame. A QWR will be generated by you and submitted to the servicer for every file prior to the completion of the forensic loan document audit.

Sample Hardship Letter

American Home Mortgage Services, Inc

Attention: Correspondence Dept.

Re: Loan Number: 1234511722

Name : Johnathan Jones

Subject Address : 12345 Erehwon Street, Heartland, OH 12345

To Whom It May Concern: Please accept this letter as a “Qualified Written Request” under Section 6 of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) to obtain copies of ALL documents pertaining to the origination of the above mentioned Clients’ current mortgage on the referenced subject property. Please see below for a list of documents needed.

Initial Loan Application and Final Loan Application

Executed Notice of Right to Cancel (if refinance)

Deed of Trust/All Riders

Note and All Addendums/Riders

Truth-in Lending Statements

Itemization of Amount Financed

Good Faith Estimates

Estimated and Final Closing Statements (HUD)


Title Report

Grant Deed(s)

Copy of Loan Payment History – This must include all payments made, all fees incurred, any and all escrow account disbursements and how payments were appliedIn addition to the above, please forward any and all disclosures, rate sheets etc. associated with the above transaction. Please note that all copies need to be clear and legible and all documents should be copied in their entirety.

In closing, We/I understand that under Section 6 of RESPA you are required to acknowledge our/my request within 20 business days and try to resolve any issues within 60 business days.

Please forward requested documentation as soon as possible and we look forward to working with you on a solution that benefits our mutual concerns. Thank you for your time.