What Does a Credit Analyst Do? (Key Responsibilities)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 15 November 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

If you enjoy mathematics and want the freedom to work in a variety of sectors, a career as a credit analyst may be suitable for you. Credit analysts work across many industries to assess the credit scores of loan applicants, advising them on a recommended course of action for the future. This profession encompasses a wide range of responsibilities, so understanding what a credit analyst does is essential to determine if it's right for you. In this article, we explain what a credit analyst does, their key responsibilities and their average income rates, along with the necessary job requirements.

Related: Business Analyst Skills (Definition and Examples)

What does a credit analyst do?

If you're wondering what does a credit analyst do, it's helpful to learn about their overall role and primary responsibilities. Their main role is to collect and analyse financial information to assess the creditworthiness of a loan applicant. With this information, a credit analyst can evaluate the best course of action for the customer to take. For example, they may recommend that the customer open a new credit account.

The credit analyst can also extend an existing credit line or approve or deny a new interest rate. A credit analyst balances the best interests of the company they work for while still offering the customer the best professional advice they can provide. Due to the nature of the role, a data analyst may spend a lot of their days on a computer, using specialised software devices to gather, calculate and analyse a customer's financial data.

What are the key responsibilities of a credit analyst?

The daily tasks of a credit analyst include dealing with applicants and overseeing their credit applications. This involves entering, retrieving and updating financial information for evaluation. A credit analyst evaluates the risk associated with the applicant according to their past and current credit data. They additionally analyse the risk in comparison to the company's cash flow to determine if extending credit to the customer is viable.

This evaluation can determine whether the credit analyst approves a loan and may also alter the credit analyst's recommended course of action. A skilled credit analyst always performs this process in full compliance with lending protocols. Individuals in this profession are also responsible for following up on inquiries from lenders and junior team members. They may assist with client or company audits as well.

What is the working environment of a credit analyst?

The typical working environment of a credit analyst is in a fast-paced office setting. It is primarily a desk job that requires sitting for extended periods, though you may occasionally have to visit clients or attend meetings in a different location. Generally, most credit analysts work in full-time positions with a standard 35- to 40-hour week.

How much does a credit analyst make?

The national average annual base salary for a credit analyst is $88,226 per year. These figures may vary depending on your level of experience, how many clients you have and your specific employer. A regional location can also affect your income rates. This is mainly because of differences in living costs, which can affect general income rates. Pay may vary between two credit analysts with the same qualifications, skill set and work experience, depending on their base location.

Here are the recorded average annual salaries of a credit analyst by city:

  • North Sydney NSW: $94,185 per year

  • Brisbane QLD: $93,509 per year

  • Parramatta NSW: $92,895 per year

  • Sydney NSW: $92,142 per year

  • Sydney Central Business District NSW: $91,137 per year

  • Melbourne VIC: $77,671 per year

What are the requirements to become a credit analyst?

Here are some of the key requirements you may complete to pursue this career:

Education

Most credit analyst job positions require a bachelor's degree in a relevant subject as a minimum. A university degree is fundamental for providing expert training in technical skills and procedures while developing your knowledge of the industry. Employers may value a university degree as it shows initiative, self-discipline and ambition. If you are interested in a career as a credit analyst, there are plenty of suitable university degrees to choose from. The following degrees are the most relevant and beneficial for prospective credit analysts:

  • finance

  • business

  • accounting

  • business administration

  • economics

  • international business

By taking one of these degree programmes, you can develop your knowledge of statistics, financial analysis and economics, which are all essential for risk management. Consider joining societies or extracurricular clubs at your university that reflect your interests in finance and business. These can enhance your resume while helping you to network with like-minded individuals.

Professional experience

While you are still in high school or attending university, apply for a range of finance or business-related internships. Gaining professional work experience in a face-to-face setting is an excellent way to develop your skills and knowledge directly from the experts in the field. Listing this on your resume not only shows to prospective employers your commitment to the role but that you are also already familiar with the daily tasks and working environment of a credit analyst.

Voluntary roles and internships can also help to expand your network, enabling you to access more opportunities to advance your career and develop your skill set.

Skills

A successful credit analyst typically has a versatile skill set that combines interpersonal skills with more technical elements, such as computer research and analysis skills. Listed below are some of the most common skills credit analysts use in their daily tasks. Try to develop these if you are interested in, or working towards, a career as a credit analyst. The skills include:

Attention to detail

Attention to detail is an important skill for a credit analyst to possess. Accuracy is fundamental for data collection, updates and inputs as any errors can drastically alter the analysis of a customer. The incorrect analysis of a customer can cause a costly problem for the client or company, so being able to maintain focus and proofread your work is critical.

Related: How to Improve Your Attention to Detail in 4 Steps

Research and analysis skills

A competent credit analyst is familiar with research and analysis, which can increase their productivity in the workplace. Credit analysts require in-depth knowledge about what each credit score means so that they can produce an accurate analysis for each customer. When working with different companies across a range of industries, a skilled credit analyst may pro-actively research their assigned industry to learn new terminology.

Communication

Effective and clear communication is also an essential skill. There may be times when a customer or client requires an explanation of data, so a credit analyst has to explain complex figures or justify their decisions in a way that is easy to understand. They may also communicate over a range of forms, such as email and telephone. A professional credit analyst maintains a respectful tone throughout all client and customer correspondence, offering help and advice while gathering important information.

Technical skills

Credit analysts require strong technical skills to efficiently perform their daily tasks to a high standard. A good understanding of computers, including the knowledge of how to format graphs and create charts, is fundamental for sorting and analysing vast quantities of data. Prospective employers value applicants who are familiar with spreadsheets and databases, so this is an impressive skill to develop. There are many online programmes dedicated to teaching computer skills, though these may not be entirely relevant to a credit analyst. Typically, most credit analysts refine these skills professionally during a university course or through work experience.

The daily use of scanners, fax machines, telephones, printers and copiers is also highly likely, so knowing how to operate general office machinery is beneficial.

Related: Computer Skills: Definition and Examples

Time management

Client analysts may work on multiple projects for different clients, all of which have varying deadlines. Knowing how to manage tasks efficiently can help to reduce your stress levels and ensure you complete every project on time, without compromising on quality. Learn to prioritise tasks based on the amount of work they require and their deadline. Organise your tasks and projects according to their priority and track your progress so that you can easily pick up where you left off.

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location.

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