You need to paint the worst picture that you honestly can. If your car needs maintenance or repair, if the cat has cancer and your vet bills are increasing, if your kids are starving to death on peanut butter sandwiches, and your fingernails are worn from quick scrubbing other people's floors for pennies a day, then put it into your hardship letter. Use simple words that anyone can understand. The people reading these hardship letters are real people. If they don't feel sorry for you by the time they have finished reading, then maybe you need to re-write it.