A financial hardship letter is one that is written to a creditor explaining the financial trouble that you are in and requesting that the addressee provide you with some sort of specific remedy, depending on the particular situation involved.
There are many different situations that can warrant a financial hardship letter. The two most common situations these days are:
1) to request that your mortgage holder let you “short sale” your house;
2) request to your bank or credit card company to consolidate or restructure your debt.
Other typical financial hardship letters include: requests to a college or university to reduce their admission fees due to special circumstances, appeals to a hospital or medical care provider to reduce their billings for compassionate reasons, or, a request to an insurance company to cover the costs of an unusual medical procedure or treatment, and others.
Tips For Writing A Financial Hardship Letter
Regardless of the specific situation, here are six (6) important guidelines that you should follow if you want to draft a financial hardship letter that will be taken seriously:
1. Keep It Short
Keep your letter short and to the point. Try not to exceed one page. A long, wandering letter will water down the essence of your case and will lose the reader.
2. Make It Personal
Make sure that you personalize your letter as much as possible by including details about you and your family that will get the reader to identify with your situation as a fellow human being.
3. Clearly State Problem
Early in your letter, summarize the specific situation that has prompted you to write the letter. Provide more details in the later paragraphs.
4. Give Enough Information
Your letter should provide enough detailed financial and related information so that the reader can easily understand your situation. Attach clarifying documents as necessary including: cash flow statements, bank statements, income tax statements, invoices, letters, etc.
5. Make Your Request
In the subject-line and the first paragraph of your hardship letter, state exactly what you are requesting. Reiterate this request in slightly different words at the conclusion of the letter.
6. Be Humble and Thankful
To reach the point where you have to write a financial hardship letter means that you are in deep financial trouble and this is basically your last resort. Don’t get into any blame games or side issues. Be respectful and thank the addressee in advance for considering your situation.
Sample Hardship Letters
Following are some real-life samples of financial hardship letters for some of the most common situations for which they are written these days.
Hardship Letter – Mortgage: requesting permission for short sale of house.
Hardship Letter – Credit Card Debt: requesting consolidation and/or restructuring of debt.
Hardship Letter – Business Credit Lines: requesting an increase in credit lines and reduction in interest rate.
Hardship Letter – Provide Background Info: additional financial information to support rental application.
Hardship Letter Real-Life Templates
The thing that makes the above two hardship letter examples different from what you will typically find online is that they are “real-life templates”. In other words, they are complete, fully-formatted letters, written by professionals for actual real-life situations.
These are NOT your typical fill-in-the-blanks templates. They are complete letters that one can quickly learn from and adapt to fit one’s own situation.
When you need to write a financial hardship letter, or any other type of letter, it is always helpful to have real-life samples that show you exactly how a professional writes a letter for a similar real-world situation.