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There are four steps required to become a credit analyst: post-secondary education, related work experience, apply for a job, and complete the job interview process. A credit analyst works either in a company’s accounting department or for a credit rating agency. In this role, they are responsible for reviewing data and determining the credit worthiness of a customer. Credit is an agreement between two parties to defer payment to a later date.
People who are detail oriented, enjoy working with numbers, and like exploring multiple scenarios find the greatest satisfaction as a credit analyst. Smaller firms combine credit application review and processing with analysis. In a credit rating agency, the analyst is expected to use specialized computer software and create credit reports.
The first requirement to become a credit analyst is to obtain a college diploma or university degree. There is no specific program to become a credit analyst, but many people have a degree in accounting, business, math, or statistics. A college diploma meets all the educational requirements for positions in the accounting department of a company that extends credit. However, roles in credit rating agencies typically require a university degree. There is a trend toward graduate level degrees to work in these firms, as the vast majority of the work is complex analysis and interpretation of results.
Related work experience includes accounting, accounts receivable, or credit application processing. These jobs all build skills working with numbers and computers. When applying for your first job to become a credit analyst, look for a role that combines application processing with credit analysis. Although the salary may be less than a purely analysis role, it provides an opportunity to gain valuable experience.
Research the company and the job posting before submitting your resume. Tailor your cover letter to address the specific requirements provided in the job posting. Take the time to double check the grammar and spelling on your resume and cover letter when applying for a job as a credit analyst. Due to the nature of this job, it is not uncommon to require a credit check as part of the application process.
During the job interview, be prepared to discuss different credit rating and management strategies. Talk about issues that are common within the industry and how to balance risk and return when extending credit. Be sure to answer all questions with a direct response. There is no need to rush, so take time to think about your answer. Analysts are expected to think and evaluate, and this can be demonstrated in the interview by how you answer the questions.
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