Loan Modification: What Are Considered Hardships

Loan modification is the process of negotiating the terms of your loan for any number of varying factors. In the case of financial hardship, you are seeking a modification on your loan based on circumstances that have affected your ability to pay. Loan modifications are common on home loans today, but they may also be available on student loans, car loans and personal loans. In today's economy, lenders are willing to work with people who claim financial hardship in order to keep those people in their homes and financially stable.


Unemployment is among the most common reason to seek loan modification for financial hardship. Many car dealerships are offering to make payments for purchasers for up to a certain amount of time in the case that purchaser loses his or her job. Even cable companies are reducing monthly fees for the unemployed. This does not just apply to a lost job, either. Students graduating from college or graduate programs who have been promised jobs that have been deferred for a certain amount of time can additionally defer their loans. For example, if you are graduating from law school and were promised a job starting in October which is now not starting until January, you may defer your loan repayments with the claim of financial hardship.

Reduced Income

If you are facing a reduced income for any reason, you may be able to negotiate the terms of your loan. Many people are facing a reduction to part-time employment in response to the recent recession. If you were forced to leave one job and take another in a lower pay bracket, consider writing a financial hardship letter to your lender for loan modification purposes. Your lender may likely already have forms and letter you can use as a sample.

Divorce or Family Issue

Divorce is one of the most common drains on a family's income. Legal fees, splitting of assets and moving from one mortgage to two can drastically decrease a family's ability to make ends meet. Likewise, if your spouse passes away you will be eligible for loan modification based on financial hardship. When you are speaking with your attorney regarding divorce settlement or estate settlement, discuss the loans you are currently repaying. Your attorney may be able to offer advice on programs to reduce your payments based on financial hardship.

Disability or Illness

You may be eligible for loan modification if you or your spouse is out of work for an extended period of time due to disability or illness. Many lenders will offer this same benefit to couples that are cohabitating, but not all lenders recognize this as a legitimate claim of financial hardship. You must be able to show how your disability or illness has affected your ability to receive the loan modification. You will likely additionally be required to show medical records stating the illness and treatments you received.