Are you skilled at crunching numbers? Have a talent for written and oral communication? Are you a master multitasker and prioritizer? Yes? Perhaps a career in credit analysis is right for you. Credit analysts manage risk while assessing and determining whether individuals and companies are eligible to receive or be extended lines of credit. Typically employed by investment companies, credit rating agencies, banks and credit card issuing establishments, the job consists of compiling and analyzing financial data about each credit-seeking client. With this data, credit analysts determine fiscal responsibility and trustworthiness of each client based on income, expenses, and consumer habits and activities.
Not everyone is cut out for this time-consuming and demanding profession. The following are seven essential skills that anyone seeking to become a successful credit analyst must have in addition to having an advanced degree in a financial field:
- Diligence and personal integrity
Credit analysts must have an eye for detail and be able to dutifully translate compiled information into honest and responsible recommendations that reflect the money lending institution’s best interests. The credit analyst must remain steadfast in his operational processes, as a careless analysis could lead to misguided recommendations, costing the money lending institution severely.
- Superior written and oral communication skills
Once all relevant financial data has been meticulously examined, the credit analyst must expertly convey his recommendation to the money lending institution, either orally or in writing, before a final decision regarding extending a line of credit is made. Should the analyst’s conclusions be ineffectively communicated to the parties involved, all his hard work would have been in vain.
- The ability to artfully multitask and prioritize
Credit analysts are often tasked with analyzing several requests at once and have to deal with multiple clients at the same time. They must juggle the heavy workload without confusing the different accounts, prioritizing clients according to their specific needs and the urgency of their requests.
- Strong accounting skills
Credit analysts must have a firm hold on advanced mathematics and quantitative skills. They must be comfortable dealing with basic accounting techniques such as ratio analysis and statistics; being able to look at a sheet of numbers and understand their significance.
- Keen knowledge of related industries
Credit analysts must fully understand the individuals and companies requesting and providing lines of credit, so that a thorough, carefully planned recommendation can be made to the money lending client. Opportunity identification and relationships between banks and various businesses associations are key elements of the analysis.
- Wide range of computing skills
Experience with financial software is a must for credit analysts. Knowledge of different computer programs is essential in order to be able to maximize computational efficiency and handle multiple cases at once. Analysts must also use computer software to effectively portray projected financial recommendations.
- Be a problem-solver
Clients present credit analysts with financial quandaries. It’s up to the credit analyst to remain extremely organized and provide solutions to each and every presented problem. An analytical mind with earnest problem-solving skills is an explicit requirement in this field.
While a potentially lucrative job, analyzing financial statements in an attempt to determine a loan applicant’s creditworthiness and prevent risk and credit fraud is difficult and demanding. Credit analysts must be standout beings with sharp minds, possess advanced financial and technological skills and be endowed with outstanding communication capabilities.
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