What to Leave Out of a Hardship Letter
A hardship letter can be difficult to write, and you have to walk the line between pathos and fact. The main idea is to elicit sympathy while still giving relevant details. There are a number of things to avoid when crafting your hardship letter. Here are a few:
- Drama: While it's important to put a human face on your problems, avoid emotional or incendiary language. "Devastating," "shattering," "unendurable" and the like aren't necessary. Feel free to talk about the effects of your problems, but avoid melodrama.
- Blame/Excuses: Avoid making any slanderous or inflammatory remarks about others. It's fine to say that you lost your job or were injured. Ranting about how everything is someone else's fault is irrelevant and will make you look like you're ducking your responsibilities.
- Irrelevant Information: If you were fired, stick to saying you lost your job. There's no need to explain that you were fired for incompetence or the exact way you injured your back. The bare bones of the story are important and how they affect your income are the important details. Stick to that.
- Vague Information: It's not enough to say that your income was reduced. Make sure that you include specific details such as "My income was reduced from $3,000 per month to $1,000 per month." That's the only way that your situation can be accurately assessed.
- Lies: This should go without saying, but don't lie. Don't make up stories that you think will make you look better. Don't pretend like you didn't understand the rules and don't fudge your financial information. It won't work and it will hurt your chances of being approved.
- More than one page: Stick to one page, keep it short and keep it relevant. You're not narrating your life story; be brief.
Index of Hardship Letter Examples