You may need to work harder to keep your financial obligations in order, but there are still moments that can prevent you from fulfilling them. For instance, your budget might be affected if you have an injury, lose a vital source of income, or make a sudden emergency payment.
A hardship letter can be helpful if you’re struggling to pay your debts. It can explain your current financial situation to credit card companies, banks, and lenders and suggest ways to get back on track.
What qualifies as a financial hardship?
Financial hardship is a situation in which a person cannot make payments on their debts. A financial hardship letter is a good way to explain the reason for the account’s late payments. Usually, lenders will use these letters to determine if they can offer a solution through reduced, suspended, or deferred payments.
Some situations may be purely financial, while others may be related to major life events. The most common reasons for financial hardship include huge medical bills due to illness or injury, a change in one’s employment status, a loss of income, or a military deployment. Other factors, such as divorce and natural disasters, can also trigger hardship.
Regardless of financial hardship, you must be honest with your lender. To reach a solution, you should show that you are willing to work with them and commit to settling your debts.
Sample Credit Card Hardship Letters
Sample 1 – Hardship Letter for Credit Card Debt
Credit Card Issuer’s Name
Credit card company phone number
RE: Hardship Letter
In this letter, I would like to inform you about my current financial situation and the difficulties that I have been experiencing. I want to settle my credit card balance by offering to pay twenty percent.
Due to my financial situation, I have experienced a significant drop in my income over the past couple of months. I can no longer afford to continue paying my credit card bills. Please help me with this issue by providing me with some relief.
In this envelope, I have enclosed various documents and financial statements that contain information about my current financial situation. Some of these include your past due statements, bank statements, pay stubs, and copies of my credit card statements. If you need more information, don’t hesitate to contact me.
After you agree to settle my credit card debt, the total amount I will pay will get sent to you within five business days. To avoid filing for bankruptcy, I have been negotiating with all of my creditors, including the credit card issuers.
Don’t hesitate to contact me through my phone number if you have any questions or concerns. (Add your phone number)
Thank you for being so considerate.
Credit card account number
Sample 2 – Hardship Letter for Credit Card Debt
Credit card company’s representative (if you have it)
Credit card company’s name
Company’s phone number
RE: Hardship Letter for Credit Card Account list your account number:
In response to my financial situation, I request that you settle my outstanding debt at a 20 percent discount.
Due to various factors, such as illness, job loss, and medical conditions, my household income has dropped significantly over the past couple of X months. It has become impossible for me to continue making my monthly payments. Please see the proof of my hardship attached.
I have enclosed several documents that will prove my current financial situation. These include my financial statements and other documents. (These documents should include all the necessary details about the economic crisis, such as bank statements and even records of your income.)
I am trying to avoid filing for bankruptcy. However, I must make debt settlement arrangements with other creditors to maintain my financial situation.
Please consider and accept my settlement offer seriously. After receiving your written approval, I will immediately send the payment to your organization within five business days.
If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me. I will be able to help you discuss the settlement offer with you. (Include your phone number).
Tips for Writing a Hardship Letter
Before you start drafting a letter, you must have a clear goal. You’ll need to decide on the type of request that you want to make. There are a variety of options that you can make to your creditors, mortgage lenders, and collections agencies. Some of these include: Lowering your interest rate, temporarily suspending past-due payments, bringing your current account up to date, adjusting your loan’s interest rate, and reducing your minimum payments.
You can consult a financial coach if you need help figuring out where to go with your financial situation. They can help you explore your options and find a solution that works for you. Our credit coaches also have extensive experience writing letters to creditors for various types of hardship, such as debt and life events.
Describe Your Hardship Clearly
A hardship letter also shows your commitment and sincerity to your lender. Although it can get done online, you may need more than a copy-and-paste letter to meet the lender’s standards. To start your letter, a good hardship letter template should get used. Besides being able to provide a basic outline, be sure to include details that are unique to your situation and elaborately explain it on paper.
The contents of a hardship letter should be original, direct, and personalized. However, it can also be formatted in various ways. This guide will help you plan and format your letter. Your letter should start with a personal statement about yourself and your current financial situation. This section should also introduce you to the lender and explain how you want to work together to resolve your debts.
If you make an untrue or misleading statement in the letter, then be prepared to get rejected. Also, include accurate and current documentation to support your claim. You should also thoroughly investigate your situation in person or over the phone.
Keep It Concise
It’s tempting to write a full story about your experience, but it’s important to keep it straightforward in the letter. Also, avoid going into too much detail. One of the most important factors you should consider when writing a letter is ensuring that it is brief and concise.
Don’t Cast The Blame.
Your hardship letter should focus on explaining your situation, not blaming the other person or organization. Even if it is unfair, an attempt to blame the other person or organization for the problem would be a red flag for the lender. Instead, focus on the details of the situation and how you need the creditor’s help.
Don’t Use Jargon Or Fancy Words.
Simple language is a great way to keep your letter direct and short. Write at a level that’s sixth-grade appropriate. Also, avoid going overboard in trying to impress the reader. Re-read your letter to make sure that it’s clear and smooth.
Keep Your Objectives In Mind.
Your letter should focus on the reasons you are writing it, not on the other details. To convince the creditor to help, you must make it clear that you are in a difficult situation and that you will only succeed if they help. After you have stated your hardship and discussed your case, you need to express what you want from the lender. It is a crucial section of your letter.
Provide The Creditor With An Action Plan
You can tell your creditors exactly what you can do to make it easier for them to help you. You’ve already worked hard on developing a solution, and now they have to say yes. Make sure to tell them exactly what you want them to do. You also must ensure that they understand that the action you want them to take is necessary to save your loan.
The Bottom Line
If you cannot make your credit card payments, it can make you vulnerable to debtors for they might not be willing to lend money to you. However, there are still options available. Suppose you notice you are behind on your payments, or you might contact the company immediately. Getting in contact with the company is a sign of good faith and could help the company find a solution to your financial issues.