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How to Write a Hardship Letter: A Complete Guide with Tips and Sample for the Middle East

by Dr. Isma Amin

Hard times come unexpectedly and can affect anyone’s financial situation at any time In the Middle East. Even though it’s easier to write pages on pages about your affliction, words without supporting evidence have little effect and need to be chosen carefully. With clear evidence that supports claims and words that describe one’s circumstances, one can get a better dept plan that’s manageable and easy to pay off.

UAE Nationals, Expats in UAE, Saudi Students, Bahrain Students, and Kuwaiti Students facing financial difficulties due to unexpected circumstances can benefit from writing a compelling hardship letter. Whether you are a local Emirati or an expatriate residing in the UAE, or a Saudi, Bahraini, or Kuwaiti student studying in the Middle East, financial hardship can strike at any time.

hardship letter

Let’s delve into the details of how to write a hardship letter for UAE nationals and Expats: 

  • What is a hardship letter
  • What form of relief can one get by writing a hardship letter
  • What is a hardship
  • What are some of the circumstances which the lender won’t consider as a hardship
  • Does one even need to write a hardship letter
  • What are the documents that one should submit with the hardship letter
  • How to write a hardship letter
  • What are important points to be kept in mind when writing the hardship letter
  • What are the things one should avoid when writing a hardship letter
  • Samples of hardship letter
  • Immigration hardship letter
  • Hardship letter for student loans
  • Hardship letter for terminal illness
  • Single mother hardship letter
  • Sample hardship letter for loss of income

What is a Hardship letter

A hardship letter is an official document that helps a person write in detail about any afflictions that may have affected their financial situation. The details are described to the lender to get a manageable payment plan. The letter explains the writer’s financial condition and why they can’t make payments.

By writing a hardship letter, UAE Nationals, Expats in UAE, Saudi Students, Bahrain Students, and Kuwaiti Students can explore various forms of relief, such as pausing payments, reducing payments, extending loan terms, forgiving late fees, reducing owed amounts, or securing lower interest rates.

What form of relief can one get by writing a hardship letter

By writing a hardship letter, one can get the lender to

  • Pause payments
  • Reduce payments
  • Extend the duration of the loan term
  • Forgive the late fee
  • Help reduce the amount the person owes
  • One can secure a lower interest rate

What is a Hardship

A hardship is any negative event or happening that is beyond your control. It affects one’s financial situation in multiple ways. Following are some of the examples that qualify as hardship and affect the financial circumstances of people:

  • Death of the person or a family member
  • Divorce
  • Legan separation
  • Terminal illness
  • Accident or any serious injury because of some other reason
  • New disability
  • A disability that worsens over time
  • Reduction in pay by the employer
  • Layoff from current job
  • Natural disasters
  • Man-made disasters
  • Incarceration
  • Military deployment
  • The person’s job has been transferred to a long-distance job

These afflictions could be directly affecting the person or could be affecting someone the person is responsible for or takes care of. For example, if a person’s spouse or child falls seriously ill, the person won’t be able to work properly and will have to take time off. It will make it difficult to pay and add additional medical bills.

What are some of the circumstances which the lender won’t consider as hardship

Following are some circumstances that the lender or the creditors won’t consider hardships. These are the circumstances that are under one’s control and can be prevented:

  • A temporary disruption in one’s income that can be managed by liquidating the assets
  • Overspending on personal activities that can otherwise be avoided and lived without
  • Overspending on items that are not a necessity and are not needed
  • Voluntary change of employment
  • Luxury purchases
  • Personal investment loss
  • The cost required to continue education
  • The cost required for higher education
  • Expenses required for criminal legal proceedings

Does one even need to write a hardship letter

Many banks and service providers have a section on their websites that allow the person to fill in applications online and request relief in the payment plans. There are service providers that provide loan assistance which helps you see your options and choose what’s best for you in your current financial situation.

Before jumping to conclusions and writing a hardship letter, one must check the documents provided by the service providers to check if they already have a section where they discuss financial relief plans and if there are options to request hardship assistance online.

What are the documents that one should submit with the hardship letter

Following are the examples of the documents that should be submitted relevant to the situation for writing the hardship letter

  • Bank account statements (shouldn’t include college saving accounts or retirement funds)
  • Paystubs which show the person’s current earnings
  • Paystubs which show the person’s year-to-date earnings
  • Current and previous year’s signed tax returns
  • Medical bills
  • Employment termination letter in case the person has been laid off
  • Accident reports in case of accidents
  • Police reports in case of accidents
  • Military orders
  • Divorce papers and related documents
  • Separation agreement/separation paper
  • Spouse support orders
  • Child support orders
  • Death certificate
  • Tax increase notice in case of an increase in property taxes
  • Profit/loss statement of one’s business
  • Tax increase notice in case of property tax increase
  • Affidavit or written letter statement with a third-party assessment
  • Proof of public assistance
  • Proof of disability
  • A detailed list of monthly expenses and budget
  • Any repair bills that covered the losses which are not included in the insurance
  • Incarceration proof

How to write a Hardship letter

Following are the steps one needs to follow to write a hardship letter:

Step 1: Get the contact information

Before writing the resignation letter, get the contact information for the loss mitigation department of your lender or creditor. Identifying the person you need to address your hardship letter is important.

Step 2: Name and address

Once you begin writing the letter, add your name, address, phone number, and loan number. It will help identify the person’s account and check the facts to respond to one’s queries as soon as possible. If the concerned person cannot match your information in their system, they won’t be able to help you.

Step 3: State facts

When writing the letter, one must focus on the facts only. The person should include the points like what caused the problem. What has the person done to solve it? One needs to state why they need help and how the lender or creditor can help. The person should include factual information about when the hardship began and if the affliction will be short or long-term.

A short-term financial hardship would last around six months or less. At the same time, the long-term financial hardship could exceed six months and last until unforeseen.

Step 3: Documents

After concluding the letter, the person should attach all the relevant documents and evidence to support their claims.

Step 4: Review

There are apps and platforms to proofread things that even professional writers write, proving they can make mistakes. Therefore, the person should ask someone for an honest review. A person one can trust will provide honest feedback. The trusted person should check if the letter is readable if the case has been clearly stated, and if the trusted person ever worked for some lender, would they be willing to accept the case based on the letter you wrote?

In short, when writing a hardship letter, individuals should keep it concise and original. Being honest and factual is crucial, and proposing a solution or financial recovery reassurance can be beneficial. UAE Nationals, Expats in UAE, Saudi Students, Bahrain Students, and Kuwaiti Students should avoid making political statements, bargaining, criticizing banks, discussing irrelevant accounts or funds, or making false claims.

What are important points to be kept in mind when writing the hardship letter

Following are some of the factors one needs to keep in mind when writing the hardship letter and needs to make sure these points are added to the letter to make it more effective:

Concise letter

The letter should be at most one page. Keep it concise and as to the point as possible.

Be original when writing the letter.

Although the basic template for writing the hardship letter will be more or less the same, the content must vary. It’s helpful to look up examples of hardship letters to write a professional letter, but if the letter is copied from another source, it may lose credibility. The letter should always be specific to one’s situation to sound sincere.

Be honest when stating your problem.

One should be completely honest when stating the hardship and avoid any information that could nullify their case. One of the best ways to be honest and give proof that whatever one is saying is supported by facts and evidence is to attach all the relevant documents. This will solidify the case and would increase the chances of getting help.

Goal oriented

The person should get carried away and lose sight of what they want from the lender or creditor. When writing the letter, the person should state the facts and not get emotional about anything.

Propose a solution

When writing the letter, the person should propose what they think is the ideal solution for their situation. The person should state a result or solution the lender could accept or give them a Head Start to work on their situation. This will help simplify the situation for the lender and make it easy for them to understand what you want.

Mention your proactiveness about the situation.

When asking for help, the person should also state all the possibilities they have tried to solve the financial situation. For example, the person could state how they have cut all the unnecessary spending from the budget and are working overtime to make ends meet.

Financial recovery reassurance

If the person is confident that their financial situation will improve and bounce back after some time, they should mention it in the letter. This will help solidify the case.

What are the things one should avoid when writing a hardship letter

Following are some of the points one should avoid when writing a hardship letter:

  • One shouldn’t express or make a political statement when writing the letter
  • One should refrain from making a bargain in the letter.
  • One should refrain from criticizing the bank.
  • One should refrain from discussing other accounts and funds as it could weaken the case.
  • One should never state that they have secret accounts as the lender will follow up on that too.
  • One should refrain from stating that their financial situation will improve soon. Making such claims could result in the bank turning down the request.

Samples of hardship letter

[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[City, State, ZIP Code]
[Email Address]
[Phone Number]
[Today’s Date]

[Recipient’s Name]
[Recipient’s title]
[Name of Company/Organization]
[Address of Organization]
[City, State, ZIP code]
Subject: Hardship letter 
Dear [Recipient’s Name],
I’m writing this letter to explain a financial hardship that I’m currently facing, and I want to request your understanding during this challenging time and express my appreciation for the opportunities and support provided by the company. 
I have been a committed employee at [company name] for [number of years]. I’m grateful for the growth I gained during that time. I’m sharing the financial challenges that have significantly affected my life recently. 
My financial hardship started when my daughter got diagnosed with a terminal illness. The unforeseen circumstances have impacted my income as I can’t work every day due to having to go for multiple hospital visits. This has also resulted in a significant increase in my expenses and left me struggling to make ends meet while trying to pay the medical bills.  Despite trying, I’m falling short on essential bills like rent, utilities, and medical bills. As a result, I’m at risk of eviction, utility disconnection, and at the brink of gaining debt. 
I’m writing this to request financial support during this difficult time. I’m seeking temporary relief from the company to help alleviate the financial burdens. I would appreciate it if the company could provide me with an advanced salary, a temporary leave of absence as I cannot be in the office daily, and some flexible payment plans.
I’m attaching relevant documents, hospital reports, and proof for evidence of hardship. I kindly request an opportunity to discuss the problem further in person, and I am ready to provide any documents needed. Your understanding during this challenging time would mean the world to me, and it will help me regain some stability in life. 
Thank you for your time. Im eagerly looking forward to hearing from you and await your response. 
Yours sincerely,
[Name]

Sample Hardship Letter

Immigration hardship letter

Following is an example of an immigration hardship letter:

Immigration hardship letter

Immigration hardship letter

Sample Hardship letter for student loans

Following is the sample hardship letter for student loans or student financial aid package:

Hardship letter for student loans

Hardship letter for student loans

Sample Hardship letter due to terminal illness

Following is a sample of hardship letters that one could have to write because of a terminal illness they are facing, or a loved one is facing, which has also increased medical bills:

Sample Hardship letter due to terminal illness

Sample Hardship letter due to terminal illness

Single mother hardship letter sample

Following is a sample of what one could write in a hardship letter as a single mother:

 

Single mother hardship letter sample

Single mother hardship letter sample

Sample hardship letter for loss of income

Following is a sample of a hardship letter one could write when laid off from their previous job. It should clearly state when the person was laid off and what they are doing to find new jobs.

Sample hardship letter for loss of income

Sample hardship letter for loss of income

Conclusion

It is difficult to go through a hard time and suffer financially in such a way that it makes it hard for you and your family to make ends meet, while you are working as a foreigner in the middle east.  Writing a financial hardship letter to get assistance or ask for financial relief can be difficult. It’s hard to ask friends and family for financial aid, and there is always the fear of straining the relationship if the person fails to meet the terms and conditions. Writing a financial hardship letter is like a business meeting and should be taken as such. It should be kept professional and concise. It should state the problem and be supported by evidence and proof in official documents.

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