Sample Late Payment Explanation Letter

When you write a creditor to explain your late payments (mortgage, car, or credit card), the letter should state:

  • why you are late, (see paragraph 1 of the letter below)
  • how serious you are about fulfilling your commitment to them (paragraph 2 of the letter below), and
  • when you expect to be able to resume full and regular payments, (paragraph 3 of the letter below),
  • what you want from them (paragraph 4 of the letter below)
  • the financial details of your hardship (paragraph 5 of the letter below)

Below is a sample late payment explanation letter. Change it to describe your own circumstances, but make sure that you enclose copies of financial documents like: checking account statements, tax returns (past two years), all bills from creditors, all late notices, pink slip, anything else that will prove your hardship.

Cindy R. Williams

9 Turnbill Ct.

Anywhere, USA 55555

To: ABC Mortgage

Re: Late Payments; Account # 12345678

Daytime phone number: (555)555-5555

I am writing to inform you of my recent financial hardship. I was laid off from my job at XYZ Company just before Christmas of 2008. I am diligently seeking other employment, but as you know, jobs are scarce in today’s economy. I have not found anything yet. Being out of work has caused me to be late on my bills.

I believe in hard work and have never been without a job for more than a few months. Until this unfortunate event, I have maintained a solid payment history with you.

My goal is to pay everything I owe. I take my financial obligations very seriously and plan to continue regular and full payments as soon as I find a job.

I expect my situation to be temporary and would like to discuss loan forbearance. I would also appreciate any suggestions you might have that would help me get back on track.

Please find the enclosed spreadsheet of my monthly expenses, as well as copies of financial documents, my pink slip from XYZ Co, and late notices I have received during my financial setback. I’m sending these to show that I am indeed experiencing financial hardship. This letter and all documents attached are true and accurate to the best of my knowledge.

Thank you for your time. I hope to hear from you soon.



Forbearance is an agreement by a creditor to reduce or delay payments for a specified period of time. Interest accrues during forbearance and will increase your loan amount. The good thing is that you will not have to pay late fees and penalties. There is no negative affect on your credit either.