How To Write A Hardship Letter: Free Samples, Templates & PDFs

By Mark Huntley, J.D.

Real estate investor, lawyer, personal finance writer, and Co-Founder of Credit Knocks

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Are you tired of searching for free sample Hardship letters only to end up reading a bunch of nonsense and not getting what you were after?  I was too! 

When you are having financial troubles the last thing you need is a bunch of lip service. 

Get your free sample letter of hardship now! 

A Hardship Affidavit is not guaranteed to be accepted by your lender.

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But if written correctly there is a good chance that it may work (and it's free).  Best of all, if you can successfully get your lender to modify your loan or agree to a short sale price, your credit score can increase quite a bit by avoiding a foreclosure and future late payments! 

There's just one thing for you to consider... your credit history has also probably taken a beating during this financially stressful time. 

Free Letter Of Hardship Templates

All of these free sample template pdf letters work great.  Click on any one of them to open the PDF file, although we do ask for an email.

Feel free to copy and paste them or download them.

You may change them or use them exactly how they are written.

If you write one that has success, please email it to us, and we may add it to our list.  Just like Rochelle did here:

Goodwill Adjustment Letter Template PDF

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Why You Need A Affidavit Of Hardship 

When you find yourself unable to pay your mortgage and behind on payments, it is somewhat comforting to know that there is a credit tool out there that can help… the letter of hardship. 

In a recent study, we found that *48% of paying, credit repair clients got a 100+ credit score gain or more.   If you don't have serious time to devote to your dispute letters, we recommend you hire the pros to help.  Check out our #1 choice for professional credit repair. 

If you are behind on your home mortgage due to financial difficulty, you may be able to get some relief by writing your lender explaining your financial hardships. 

We will review when a Hardship letter is appropriate, what to include in it, and provide you access to free samples, templates & PDFs.

Want a second opinion about how to tackle your credit?  Speak to the pros!

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free hardship letter sample template example pdf

What Is A Hardship Letter?

As a former real estate attorney, I wrote several affidavits of substantial hardship for my clients when life had dealt them a bad hand. 

Usually, these letters are written to request a loan modification so that the borrower's loan terms can be adjusted to something they can afford. 

Alternatively, a hardship affidavit may be sent when a qualified financially distressed borrower has found a purchaser for their home. 

A Hardship affidavit is sent to your home mortgage lender requesting a loan modification or short sale due to a distressed financial situation. 

However, the offered purchase price won't pay off the entire mortgage, so they request a short sale in the hardship letter. 

When a lender accepts a short sale, they agree to cancel the loan for 'short' of the actual payoff amount.  

To have a lender agree to modify your mortgage or accept less than what is owed will require you to provide a concise story and many financial documents to prove it. 

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When Can I Use A Letter Of Hardship?

If you find yourself with an involuntary reduction in income or a rise in expenses due to no fault of your own, you may qualify for a loan modification or short sale of your home. 

You may be wondering what are examples of financial hardship?

There is no legal precedent for a mortgage company to grant you a financial waiver and help you out. 

However, it costs them a lot more money to foreclose on your home than to try and work out an amicable agreement, so many lenders will attempt to work with you. 

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Every lender has there own guidelines on when a hardship affidavit will be considered, but the following financial situations are usually accepted reasons. 

  • Mandatory reduced hours or hourly wage
  • Underemployment after the loss of a previous job
  • Death of a co-borrower
  • A decline in business earnings if self-employed
  • Permanent or short term disability
  • Serious illness of a household member
  • Divorce/Separation
  • Unemployment
  • Major medical expenses
  • Disaster
  • Urgent property repairs
  • Increase in childcare expenses
  • Mortgage loan and payment changes
  • Loss of income
  • Death of a family member 
  • Legal fees
  • Military Service
  • Job Transfer
  • Natural Disaster

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What To Include In A Hardship Affidavit

Lenders are not concerned about how your late payments are affecting your credit score; they are only worried about getting paid back on their loan. 

A hardship affidavit is not something that is going to be 'just accepted'.

There are going to be many hoops you will have to jump through and documentation you will have to provide. 

If you make a claim in your affidavit that is untrue or unsubstantiated, there is a good chance that the bank will deny your request and proceed with foreclosure. 

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Most letters of hardship are only a couple of paragraphs that address four key points:

  • How the current financial situation arose
  • What has changed in the real estate market since the original mortgage
  • What steps have you taken to remedy the situation
  • How the situation cannot be improved and why

You will want to start by stating the purpose of your letter, whether you are requesting a loan modification or for them to accept a lower payoff with a short sale. 

Remember to keep it short and include any documentation necessary, such as, check stubs, death certificates, or legal correspondence. 

If you have any additional questions, please review the free hardship affidavit examples, templates, & PDFs to help you write your letter.

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Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, statements or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

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