Commercial Lender: Career and Salary Facts

Research what it takes to become a commercial lender. Learn about the duties of this job, the educational requirements and salary range to find out if this is the career for you. Schools offering Finance degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is a Commercial Lender?

Commercial lenders or loan officers analyze financial information and assist clients through various loan processes. Commercial lenders specialize in loans to companies. These types of loans are more complex than personal loans and therefore require lenders to make judgment calls in addition to following the output of lending software. Additionally, the lender might have to coordinate with multiple banks for a package of loans.

The duties of a commercial lender might include contacting companies, meeting with applicants, reviewing applications, and approving or denying loans. The following chart provides an overview of the education and licensure requirements, along with the job outlook and average salary in this field.

Degree Required Bachelor's degree
Education Field of Study Economics, accounting, finance, interpersonal communication
Licensure Applicable state commercial lender license
Key Responsibilities Analyze financial statements, communicate with clients
Job Growth (2014-2024) 8% (for all loan officers)*
Average Salary (2015) $75,170 (for all loan officers)*

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Is a Commercial Lender?

Commercial lending occurs when a bank or other financial institution loans money to a company for equipment, expansion or other business improvements. A commercial lender or loan officer helps companies obtain the necessary revenues to begin or expand their business.

As a commercial loan officer, you might identify companies that want or need to expand and encourage them to complete the loan process with your financial institution. You might also help guide the company through the loan process by assisting with the application, explaining terms and options, processing the paperwork, verifying the information obtained and facilitating payment disbursements.

What Type of Education and Training Do I Need?

Commercial lenders are required to analyze the financial statements of the companies they are assisting, so you need to have a bachelor's degree in economics, finance or a similar field. You need to understand cash flow analysis, accounting and financial statements in particular.

Every state's requirements for commercial lenders are different, but if you desire to deal with commercial mortgage lending, you need to obtain a mortgage lending license. According to the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System (, you need to complete several hours of course work, pass credit and background checks and achieve minimum scores on an exam.

What Skills and Abilities Will Help?

Commercial lenders should enjoy meeting new people, working with them and communicating regularly. Being comfortable with adjusting multiple figures and analyzing data could also be beneficial. Finally, being confident and highly motivated can be helpful in this field.

What Is the Job Outlook?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), between 2014 and 2024, employment prospects for loan officers as a whole are expected to increase about 8%, which is average ( As of May 2015, the BLS reported that loan officers in general averaged $75,170 per year.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Those interested in becoming a commercial lender might also wish to research some related alternative careers that require a similar education level and duties. For example, financial analysts help businesses and individuals make decisions about investments, such as stocks or bonds. They generally require a bachelor's degree in the field to gain employment.

Insurance underwriters also need to have a bachelor's degree. They work for insurance companies to evaluate applications and determine the terms of insurance coverage. Financial services sales agents link individuals wishing to invest in securities with companies looking for investors. They also generally need to have a bachelor's degree to gain entry-level work.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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