How To Improve Your Finances After the Pandemic

August 13, 2020
Last updated:
March 31, 2022
Post cover image
In This Article

Conditions during COVID-10 made paying bills, saving money, and increasing income all the more difficult. But now that we are turning a corner, residents of WA, OR, ID, and CO can help their finances with credit counseling, wise investing, and relentless attention to job market dynamics.

We all know the old adage: “You can’t get blood from a stone.” While the pandemic certainly made things difficult for many Americans, at the same time, both households and individuals are not without recourse. There are workable steps you can take that advance financial wellness.

Shoring Up Credit Standing

Whether the concern is good credit at risk or bad credit getting worse, people have options to help stabilize and even boost credit scores. One thing that homeowners did was seek forbearance from lenders, be they mortgagees, auto financiers or credit card companies.

Essentially, forbearance simply delays payments for a given number of months, allowing laid off borrowers to secure new employment or return to their old jobs. It allows self-employed customers to pursue alternative means of revenue. It gives borrowers a breathing room while credit status remains intact.

Another avenue is to keep unused credit accounts open (as long as no fees are charged). More open accounts with zero balances create ratios that enhance FICO scores. Meanwhile, consumers whose credit is already poor can still take advantage of credit counseling. Available in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Colorado, credit counseling can lead to a debt management plan and help struggling debtors to avoid bankruptcy. Credit counselors can also provide sound advice.

Securing and Building Assets in a Pandemic

Sadly, many people felt compelled to tap into savings and retirement funds. Yet, just as many continue to work and their revenue streams keep flowing unabated.

Keeping a detailed budget helps families to track where their dollars go. Putting every extra dollar away is advisable. Budget-conscious people calculate their expenses and can apply them to long-term concerns like health care and retirement. The coronavirus placed numerous constraints on activities where you might otherwise have spent these valuable funds.

View Current Mortgage Rates

Getting a New Job

For those who were temporarily laid off or permanently terminated because of the pandemic, prospects may have appeared bleak in terms of employment. But intrepid research and a little hustle helped many unearth excellent opportunities.

First of all, learning where the open positions are is helpful. Classifieds and job search sites may be of limited use these days; networking, though, is never futile.

Upgrading a professional website and polishing a posted resume are other ways to advance the likelihood of getting noticed by employers in need. With technology in mind, participation in GoogleMeet and Zoom seminars in your area of expertise not only provides continuing education, but it also exposes you to new people, some of whom may be looking for associates.

Recruiters are also spending more time on social media so checking in on those platforms is advised as well. With persistence and strategy, workers may find a position better and more lucrative than the one they had occupied before the advent of COVID-19.

Financial Resources Available


The Washington state Office of the Attorney General maintains a list of approved credit counselors for people endeavoring to take control of their bills and manage their money. Alternatively, the National Foundation for Consumer Counseling keeps a database of approved member agencies for referral in the Evergreen State (as well as each state listed below).

Additionally, county agencies offer low-cost and free seminars on wealth building and investment strategies. Libraries and other institutions make several such programs available online during the pandemic. The statewide WorkSource system connects job-seekers with training and available openings.


Debt management counseling companies are required to register with the Oregon Division of Financial Regulation. Approved organizations will advise on a wide range of issues like budgeting, credit repair, loan modifications, and negotiating with lenders. For anyone looking to better their investment portfolio and increase assets, he or she does best to consult an advisor licensed by the state Division of Finance and Corporate Securities.

Oregon boasts low taxation on capital gains so many take advantage of investment opportunities. For the unemployed and looking, the Oregon Employment Department’s WorkSourceOregon website assists with exploration, education, and certifications.


Gem State residents who wish to become better stewards of extended credit and financing can contact the Idaho Finance Bureau for assistance in locating approved counseling agencies. The bureau also offers information on fair debt collection, state laws governing credit, and discerning fraud by lenders. Low-income consumers can also contact Idaho Legal Aid Services, Inc.

Financial planning advice is available through any consultant accredited by the Department of Finance Securities Bureau. In addition to offering ongoing pandemic unemployment assistance, the Idaho Department of Labor also offers displaced workers help in discovering new careers, improving job skills, and optimizing resumes for more call-backs.


As with Washington, consumer credit counselors are regulated by the Office of the Attorney General. These professional agencies operate under the auspices of the Colorado Uniform Debt Management Services Act, hence they must meet certain criteria, training, personnel, practices, etc,  before registering with the AG’s office.

Financial planners, on the other hand, are overseen by the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies, Division of Securities. Coloradans needing professional consultation regarding their assets should refer to this agency to vet any prospects. Out of work residents, or those simply needing to make more money, can avail themselves of the resources (resumes, job searches, interviewing, and networking) at the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment.

Using Your House to Improve Finances

With interest rates at record low levels, refinancing might help homeowners in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Colorado improve their cash flow and overall financial health. Not always the best way forward, it has great potential for saving money and increasing future stability. Speaking with a mortgage professional helps to evaluate the pros and cons of a home refinance. If the numbers crunch well, you may have more money than during pre-COVID. If they do not, there is no charge for the conversation.

Get an Instant Mortgage Rate Quote Today

Ready to Apply For a Mortgage?

Sammamish Mortgage has been around since 1992 and has helped plenty of people get mortgages. We are based in the Pacific Northwest and help home buyers in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Colorado.

If you want to get a rate quote, simply Contact Us. We can help you understand the process. If you prefer, you can also View Rates on our website. If you are ready to Apply Instantly or get a Rate Quote, we are also here for you.

Other Blogs You May Like
Why Today is a Rare Opportunity For First Time Homebuyers In WA State
November 9, 2022
6 min read
Why Today is a Rare Opportunity For First Time Homebuyers In WA State
Are you a first time homebuyer in WA State? If so, today might present a perfect opportunity for...
With the Economy Improving, Is It Time to Buy a Home?
May 17, 2022
5 min read
With the Economy Improving, Is It Time to Buy a Home?
Those who have put off a home purchase over recent months now wonder whether the stars are falling...
Show 10 more posts
from this category

Connect with a Mortgage Advisor Today!

Whether you’re buying a home or ready to refinance, our professionals can help.

Compare Mortgage Rates in Your Area Instantly

No Obligation and transparency 24/7. Instantly compare live rates and costs from our network of lenders across the country. Real-time accurate rates and closing costs for a variety of loan programs custom to your specific situation.

Subscribe to our newsletter