Sample Letters to Creditors  - How to Write a Hardship Letter

If you’ve been struggling with repaying your debts and need to see an example of how to write a hardship letter because you are now unable to pay your creditors or are only able to make a reduced payment, we'll show you three sample letters below. We’ve also created a short guide to go along with these letters. In it you can learn how to deal with creditors and collection agencies and get them to listen. If you need additional help beyond the guide for dealing with creditors and the sample letters, contact a non-profit credit counselling organization near you. They have Credit & Debt Counsellors who can help you for free. They keep your financial situation entirely private and confidential.


Please Note: If it has been some time since you have made payments on a debt and you contact a creditor in writing, either with one of the sample letters below or on your own, in some provinces this can possibly constitute "acknowledging the debt," and restart the statute of limitation in the same way that making a payment does.

When speaking with creditors or collector, always use the term "alleged debt." Sometimes they may attempt to get you to verbally acknowledge the debt. This, too, could also restart the statute of limitation.

The statute of limitation that establishes the length of time a creditor has to collect on a debt that is no longer acknowledged by a debtor varies by province and can range from 2 to 6 years.

Debts on your credit report are reported by credit reporting agencies based on the date of last activity of each debt. A debt is usually no longer reported after 6 years of no activity.



Sample Hardship Letters to Creditors

Reduced Payment Letter

If a layoff or other financial hardship has made it impossible to meet your household expenses plus make debt payments, you can consider following this sample letter to request reduced payments.

No Ability To Make Payment – Unable to Pay Letter

If your current income is not enough for you to be able to make credit card or debt payments plus provide yourself with a reasonable level of living expenses, you can consider using this unable to pay template letter. You’ll need to modify it for your specific situation, but it should give you a good idea of what to say.

Forgiveness of Debt Letter

If a health or medical condition causes your financial and employment situation to be such that you are unlikely to ever have the ability to make payments on a debt, this example letter requesting debt forgiveness may be of use to you.

Creditor Communication Check List

To facilitate smooth and effective communication with creditors and increase your chance of success, review this short but important checklist before communicating with them in writing.