How to Become a Credit Analyst

Credit analysis is an important part of the financial industry that determines if an individual, business, or organization is worthy of credit. Credit analysts are trained professionals that analyze a variety of data and issues for many different clients to determine if credit can be awarded.

What does a credit analyst do?

Credit analysts process many different variables to determine if applicants are worthy of credit. They work for a variety of clients such as individuals applying for credit cards and companies seeking business related loans. They collect a variety of information by collecting financial statements, contacting employer and credit bureaus, and conducting research to collect an applicant’s credit history. They create credit reports that give applicants a breakdown of their credit score. They determine how likely clients are to repay their loans and the accrued interest. Credit analysts approve or deny loans and also influence the terms of loans. They set interest rates based on specific risk factors. They also set minimum and maximum terms for repayment. Credit analysts thoroughly understand the credit requirements of their employer and take those requirements into account when reviewing credit applications. They present their decisions either directly to the applicants or to other financial professionals.

What kind of training does a credit analyst need?

Credit analysts typically need at least a bachelor degree in accounting, business, statistics, or other related field. Some employers prefer applicants with master degrees in business administration or other related field. Aspiring credit analysts typically complete courses in accounting, business, finance, risk management, information technology and statistics. Many complete internships or pursue part-time positions in financial institutions to gain practical experience. Credit analysts must keep up to date on the current market trends and the recent advancements in the field and often complete continuing education courses and attend workshops, conferences, and seminars.

What are the prospects for a career as a credit analyst?

Employment of credit analysts is expected to have little or no change from 2006 to 2016 (1). The increased automation of the credit industry will result in minimal employment growth.

Job prospects are expected to be fair with strong competition. Credit analysts with advanced education and extensive experience will have the best prospects.

How much do credit analysts make?

As of October 2009, the middle 50% of credit analysts earn annual salaries between $38,452 and $50,663. The top 10% earn annual salaries of more than $55,977 (2).

A career as a credit analyst is an excellent choice for individuals with a strong interest in a variety of credit tasks. Credit analysts must enjoy working with numbers and be detail oriented. Quantitative thinking, self-motivation, determination, and patience are necessary characteristics. They must have excellent written and oral communication skills and strong interpersonal skills because they prepare many reports and interact with a variety of clients and other professionals. They must be able to work effectively independently as well as part of a team.

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