Financial Triage Tips & Hardship Requests

Get Financial Relief With This Sample Hardship Letter

A hardship letter is used to request a temporary reduction or suspension of payments due to financial hardship. While you can initiate the request over the phone, most creditors will require you to follow up with making the request in writing. Here are some tips for writing a hardship letter:

  • Explain the reasons for your hardship clearly and concisely.
  • Include any supporting documentation that you have (e.g., copy of your unemployment awards letter).
  • Be specific about the remedy you are seeking, and don’t promise to send more money than you can reasonably afford.

How to write a financial relief request letter.

John Q. Public
345 Anywhere St
Philadelphia, PA 94115
Account Number 1234567910111213

February 18, 20xx

XYZ Credit Corporation
123 Main Rd
Central City, PA 94123

To Whom It May Concern:

I am writing to ask for your assistance. On February 1, my hours at work were cut in half, and my salary was reduced from $2,400 a month to $1,200 a month. Enclosed is a copy of my most recent paystub, which shows my reduced hours and salary. Based on my current income and expenses, including my $700 mortgage payment and $200 car loan payment, I am not able to make my regular credit card payments. In place of my payment of $100 per month, I ask that you accept $30 per month for the next four months starting in March. I will pay by the 15th of the month.

I will be looking for a second job during this time period and do not expect any difficulty resuming my regular payments in July. If there is any additional documentation or information that you would like from me or if this arrangement is not acceptable to you, please contact me. My telephone number is (555) 788-9123, and the best time of the day to reach me is between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m.

Thank you for your understanding and consideration.


John Q. Public

Financial Triage Tips

Many different kinds of crises can happen at any time, from abruptly losing your job, hurricanes, tornadoes, fires, or in this case, a virus outbreak! Millions of Americans face financial fragility during normal times, so navigating your finances in a crisis can be daunting. The first thing you should do is stay calm. Use the financial triage tips below to help you get through financially tough times.  

► Calculate your financial runway.

  • How much money do you have?
  • How long will that last? 
  • How much work (unpaid) will you be missing? 
  • What bills are coming up? 
  • What is the financial gap?

► Prioritize your payments. 

  • Housing should be first. 
  • Perhaps student loans can be deferred for 6 months?

► Look into solutions that will help you with temporary relief and increase your cash flow during this temporary setback.

  • Payment deferrals
  • Request skip-a-pay on loans
  • Loan modifications 
  • Fee waivers 

This article is bright to you in part by Balance, Viriva's financial education partner.