How to Write a Hardship Letter | Full Step-by-Step Guide

If you are in a difficult financial situation due to unforeseen circumstances, you may need to write a hardship letter. 

This letter is typically written to a lender or bank to request leniency or assistance. 

Like every official letter like Condolence letters, Apology letters, cover letters, and so on, hardship letters also have procedures and rules guiding them. 

These rules and guidelines are a must-known for anyone that wants to convince any financial organization to respond to your financial needs. 

Among the numerous things, you must note about this type of letter is that it requires a professional tone since it’s a formal letter. Then, you also need to state your financial situation clearly and why you are requesting assistance. 

Aside from that, some other steps and guides can help, which we have carefully explained in this article.

Therefore, if you are interested in learning how to write a hardship letter comfortably, this article is what you need.

This article extensively talks about hardship letters and their different types and provides complete guides on writing a letter of Hardship with samples. 

What is Hardship Letter?

A hardship letter informs a lender of the circumstances that have prevented you from making your debt payments on time.

It gives specific information, such as when the Hardship started, what caused it, and how long you anticipate it will last. 

When writing a hardship letter, please explain how you would like your lender to assist you and how your suggested solution will benefit them.

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What can I request with a Hardship Letter?

With a hardship letter, you can request an interruption in your payments, a reduction in your obligations, and an increase in the loan term. You can also ask for a lower interest rate and late fee forgiveness with a hardship letter. 

In your letter, you can also explain to the lender, for instance, that you will avoid default with a six-month reduction in interest.

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What Is Considered a Hardship?

Hardship is an unfavourable situation that has damaged your finances and is out of your control. Some of the following cases are financial hardships:

  • Layoffs or pay reductions.
  • A new or worsening impairment
  • Serious disease
  • Legal separation versus divorce
  • Death
  • Military orders for permanent station changes or deployment
  • Disaster, whether artificial or natural.

These things might have happened to you directly at other times, or they might have happened to someone else helping you.

For instance, a severe illness may have made it necessary for you to take time off work and may have increased the cost of healthcare for your family.

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What Hardship is not

In contrast, you may not regard the following events as a hardship:

  • Property value decline.
  • When you spend extravagantly on unnecessary things and activities
  • An increase in the interest rate on a home equity line of credit or adjustable-rate mortgage.

Do I Need to Write a Letter of Hardship?

Yes, but it’s not a must-do. You might not even need to write a hardship letter to get the required help. Some financial institutions offer all the details to submit a hardship assistance request on their websites.

For instance, most banks have a page dedicated to home loan assistance that walks you through your options, lists any necessary documentation, and offers contact information in case you need help. 

To be more specific, American Express has a page where users of its credit cards can find out how to ask for temporary lower monthly payments and interest rates. 

You might see the plans and enroll by logging into your account online. While logged into your account, other creditors also provide ways for you to submit an online request for help with financial Hardship.

Writing a hardship letter before speaking with someone on the phone or in an online chat might help you get your thoughts together.

However, you might discover that writing a script or creating a list of bullet points you want to address is more straightforward than writing a complete letter.

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Types of Hardship Letter

There are several types of hardship letters, but we will concentrate on two major ones:

  • Financial hardship Letter
  • Immigration Hardship letter 

Financial Hardship Letter

A financial hardship letter explains to the lender the cause of your financial difficulty and your capacity to resolve it.

Though you can use it for various reasons, the most frequently ask for a short sale or loan modification to prevent foreclosure. 

If a foreclosure attorney represents you, you will need it during the loan modification process. The hardship letter is the simplest way for your foreclosure lawyer to give your lender the best argument possible.

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When should you draft a letter of financial Hardship?

If you’re having trouble making your mortgage payments and want to ask your lender for forgiveness or a loan modification to prevent foreclosure, you need a financial hardship letter.

Is a letter of financial hardship required?

Yes, it is necessary if you want your lender to give you a chance to sell your home quickly, modify your loan, or set up a temporary repayment schedule.

Remember that lenders are aware of your mortgage payment default circumstances when you write a hardship letter for a loan modification.

As a result, when writing a financial hardship letter, you should be truthful and include just enough information. 

More importantly, if you request a loan modification, you must let lenders know how you intend to continue making payments.

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Sample of Financial Hardship Letters

Immigration Hardship Letter

A hardship letter for immigration is a vital document that Americans or other permanent residents typically create to assist a friend or relative who has been deported and is unable to return home. 

People residing in the United States occasionally receive removal orders. A deportation notice is what we call a request like that. Fortunately, you can argue their case in person and present a letter outlining why they shouldn’t deport you. 

Although the specifics of each case will determine what you will include in a hardship letter for immigration, there are some general guidelines. 

You can improve your chances of reentering the country or avoiding deportation by having the following information in a hardship letter for immigration.

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Immigration Hardship Letter Samples

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How to Write a Letter of Hardship

Writing a Hardship Letter has a simple procedure. First, get the loss mitigation department’s contact details from your lender. You will have to send the loan number, name, address, and phone number to get this information.

In your letter, give the details of what happened and what you want. What led to your predicament? What makes the lender your best option? 

Also, include the time your Hardship started and a prediction of how long or how short the issue will last.

Don’t make any references to possible outside financial resources you might have access to, like borrowing funds from family members. 

This information may harm your chances of receiving assistance from your creditor. In addition, your family member would probably prefer not to realize your financial difficulties.

Above all, keep it brief. Writing a one-page letter is acceptable. 

Some guidelines to adhere to include:

Be Unique

Before writing your hardship letter, reviewing sample ones may be helpful. You might jeopardize your argument if you copy and paste a template from the web. 

Be sincere.

The best way to convince the lender that your hardship claims are valid is to provide supporting documentation. Document examples submit include:

  • Statements of your bank and brokerage accounts that do not have money in your retirement or college savings accounts
  • Income from independent contractors and employees
  • Tax returns for the current and previous years.
  • Letter terminating employment
  • Medical expenses
  • Police reports and accident reports
  • Repair costs for losses that insurance doesn’t cover
  • Military commands
  • Divorce judgment or a separation contract
  • Orders for child support or alimony (spousal support)
  • Certificate of death
  • Proof of imprisonment
  • A detailed list of monthly expenses and a monthly budget
  • Award letter for disability
  • Proof of government support
  • Affidavit notarized (sworn written statement witnessed by a third party)
  • Owners association special assessment letter
  • Evidence of a property tax increase

In your opinion, your letter should suggest your ideal solution or a reasonable variation. Help the lender by making it simple for them to understand what you need and how they can assist you.

Get it evaluated

Even seasoned authors require a second set of eyes. Request an honest review of your hardship letter from at least one person you can trust. 

Confirm that your letter is readable, and clear and can make your lender do what you want. 

What are the Hardship Letter Mistakes to Avoid?

Do not make the seemingly counterintuitive claim that you can pay off the outstanding debt or anticipate when you can pay off all the accrued interest. 

Your creditor, who will not agree to another compromise, will likely accept this option. You could ask for a seller contribution or a short sale as an alternative.

However, you can present it as a workable solution if you feel confident in your ability to make the payments. Of course, you can say that you’ve looked into other financial options. 

Be clear that you are at a dead end and that things will get worse. Make it clear to the lender that the situation won’t improve unless they assist you.

Remember that the creditor’s sole concern is getting their loan back. Tell them you’re willing to support them in this effort.

Tips that will Guide you

While writing a hardship letter, follow the tips below:

  • Outline any urgent repairs 
  • Describe in your own words how and why you became or intend to become behind on your mortgage payments.
  • The explanations must be due to events beyond the homeowners’ control. 
  • Describe how once you are current, paying your mortgage won’t be a problem in the future.

If you fell behind because of specific circumstances, describe the steps you took to catch up.


Remember that a hardship letter is vital to the mortgage modification process. The letter should be well-written and free of any grammar or punctuation errors. 

Be sure to include all relevant information, including why you are struggling to make your mortgage payments and what you have done to improve your financial situation. 

Keep in mind that the goal of the hardship letter is to demonstrate to your lender that you are genuinely struggling and deserve a modification.


What does a hardship look like?

Many circumstances could be considered hardships. The most prevalent instances include sickness or injury, loss of income, natural disasters, divorce or death, and military deployment.

What are personal difficulties?

When you are experiencing Hardship, your life is likely challenging or unpleasant for financial reasons.

What is a Hardship Letter?

A hardship letter informs a lender of the circumstances that have prevented you from making your debt payments on time.

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