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Credit Analyst: Job Description & Salary

Credit analysts analyze the financial histories of individuals or corporations on behalf of financial institutions like banks and credit card companies. Read more to learn about the responsibilities, salary, and outlook for this career.

Credit Analyst Overview

To evaluate all factors and reach reliable lending decisions, banks and other financial institutions turn to credit analysts, who sift through vast amounts of data in order to identify the risk of loan applicants. Read the table below to learn about the education requirements and salary expectations for credit analysts.

Required Education Bachelor's degree
Certifications Certified Credit and Risk Analyst (CCRA) and others not required, but may be advantageous
Mean Annual Income (2018) $82,300*
Skills Needed Economics and accounting, mathematics, and critical thinking
Career Outlook (2018-2028) 6% growth (for all financial analysts)*

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Are the Job Duties of a Credit Analyst?

For lenders such as banks, credit card companies, credit unions, and other financial institutions, the decision to lend money to an applicant rests on analysis of their financial histories, income, and present obligations. Credit analysts conduct these assessments and help determine whether to extend loans based on the probability that the money will be repaid.

In order to finalize their assessment of each applicant, credit analysts use computer software to analyze creditworthiness from a wide variety of data inputs. Examples of variables used to calculate creditworthiness include liquidity, industry, location and income. For decision-making purposes, credit analysts are generally required to compile reports explaining their analysis.

How Much do Credit Analysts Make?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) calculated the mean annual income for credit analysts at $82,300 in 2018. Your pay as a credit analyst could fall within a much wider salary range; the BLS calculates the median salaries as $43,100 or less for the bottom 10% and $137,610 or more for the top 10%. Faster-than-average growth for all financial analysts is expected between 2018 and 2028, with a projected 6% increase in employment opportunities.

What Should I Study to Become a Credit Analyst?

Because a background in economics, financial, and mathematical principles is required to excel in this field, you should generally pursue a degree that provides you with a solid foundation in these disciplines. Examples include finance, statistics, or accounting. A bachelor's degree is usually required or preferred by employers. An associate degree may suffice. Additional certifications in credit risk assessment might be beneficial to expose you to concepts specific to the field, such as analyzing financial statements to evaluate creditworthiness.

Do I Need a Certification?

According to the National Association of Credit Management, the completion of a certification in any credit assessment discipline can increase annual earnings by 8.7% for all credit managers. Certifications are available in both general and specific disciplines, such as Certified Credit and Risk Analyst and Certified International Credit Professional. Though not required, they may be useful in signaling your dedication, willingness to learn, and passion for the field to future employers.

How Can I Advance to Become a Credit Analyst?

Individuals may reach the position of credit analyst after exposure to the field as credit assistants. Credit assistants are tasked with identifying and compiling all the information credit analysts need to make their assessments. They might also act as the main point of contact between applicants and the financial institution, reaching out to them regarding payments, missing information, or any other requirements.