What Is a Credit Specialist? Steps to Take to Become Certified

A credit specialist (or credit analyst) is an individual who performs comprehensive analyses of clients’ financial histories to ascertain whether such entities qualify for loans or lines of credit.

What is a credit specialist?

A credit specialist (or credit analyst) is an individual who performs comprehensive analyses of clients’ financial histories to ascertain whether such entities qualify for loans or lines of credit. A credit specialist is usually a senior level person working in a banking or finance company that performs most of the underwriting and claims adjudication functions.

When is a credit specialist required?

Credit specialists are typically required for large or complex portfolios.

What are the responsibilities of a credit specialist?

A credit specialist must:

Develop and execute strategies for business growth in line with the line of credit requirements. The strategy is usually an evolving framework.

Analysis of the credit application documents for prospective borrowers.

What does a credit analyst do?

Depending on the size of your business, the type of credit instrument you’re dealing with, and the scope of your financial dealings, you might have multiple creditors — banks, suppliers, and other entities.

Your credit analyst is in charge of verifying the creditworthiness of these parties. He or she compiles a detailed record of your loans and credit obligations, and the likelihood that you’ll be able to pay off your debts.

This record is the basis of credit scoring, which is how credit scoring companies rate and assess your creditworthiness and decide what type of risk they’re willing to assume.

If your credit analyst doesn’t perform comprehensive credit research, your creditworthiness will suffer.

Who should work as one?

With his or her scope of work and qualifications, a credit specialist could fill the role of a “doer” in the lending ecosystem. A credit specialist could build a relationship with a potential client’s lender, thereby positioning himself or herself for a referral. A credit specialist could also provide valuable insight into whether a borrower can afford to pay the expected rate of interest.

Though the job responsibilities of a credit specialist might differ from lender to lender, experts agree on the main requirements for working in the field. As these career paths often begin at major banks, the two roles could almost be considered synonymous.

The job duties of a credit specialist can fall into one of two broad categories.

Why should you hire one?

Basically, if you hire a credit specialist you are looking for a thorough in-depth analysis of your client’s credit profile. The credit specialist provides you with suggestions regarding how to best maintain good credit habits and improve your credit score.

When should you hire a credit specialist?

The credit specialist is ideally hired whenever your clients are experiencing a significant credit problem such as collection notices or disputes with credit bureaus. A credit specialist can provide you with the data that you need to resolve these problems.

To get a detailed explanation of what a credit specialist does, here is a summary of the various tasks that a credit specialist will perform.

How can you Benefit from Hiring one?

Understanding your customer’s profile, analyzing their assets, and figuring out the risks that they face in order to minimize or eliminate these risks

Determining a budget that maximizes customer’s income and can be used to pay their existing debts

Modeling the risk of their existing debts and establishing a budget based on the risk they are taking on

Evaluating the risk to repay this loan and providing custom solution to solve their problems.

While the skills needed for credit analyst are mostly in the financial aspect of banking, some specific skills like coding and specializations are required in order to be a credit specialist.

Conclusion

The ability to distinguish between different income levels as well as credit histories of the people you meet with regularly can be done without any specialized skills or training.

Thorough knowledge of your customers, no matter what their income level, is also an invaluable tool. And these are just a few of the many steps you can take to become better at identifying potential credit risks for your business.

Angela Copeland, a career coach and founder of Copeland Coaching, can be reached at copelandcoaching.com.

Embracing Credit Issues

Debt collection agencies are there to collect money from people who don’t pay their bills, and they make it their mission to close their cases. Yet not every debtor who gets a bad debt collection call or other form of contact will pay it off.