Do you enjoy mathematics and working with numbers, and want the freedom to work in various sectors? Then, a career as a credit analyst might be ideal for you.
Credit analysts evaluate the credit scores of loan applicants and advise them. To predict the credit risk, they perform due diligence and assess the client's financial information, including savings, income, employment earnings and debt repayment history.
You can become a credit analyst without formal education and training. However, a Bachelor's Degree in Finance, Commerce, or Accounting can help you secure a junior credit analyst role more quickly.
This blog explains what credit analysts do, their duties, qualifications, courses, degrees, salary, how to become a credit analyst in Australia, and more.
1. Who Is A Credit Analyst?
Credit Analysts are professionals who examine and process credit or loan applications of businesses or individuals.
They analyse the financial data of applicants to identify the level of risks linked with lending money. Based on their analysis, they specify the limits and repayment conditions of a credit or loan application.
Credit analysts work in companies offering loans or credit to customers, such as commercial and investment banks, credit unions, investment companies, investment management groups, and credit card companies.
2. Credit Analyst Job Description
Do you wonder what a credit analyst does? A credit analyst performs many tasks to gather financial data from individuals and companies seeking financial assistance.
Here are the duties that they perform daily:
Discuss with loan applicants their credit needs
Contact third-party financial institutions to gather personal and financial information, such as checks of references, payslips, assets, liabilities, income, credit ratings, and credit scores.
Enter, retrieve and update financial information for assessment and oversee credit applications
Analyse financial data of loan applicants to evaluate their creditworthiness, determine credit risks, and recommend the best course of action to apply for a loan
Evaluate past and present credit data to assess risks in lending money or extending credit
Specify loan limits and conditions that are in line with company policies
Complete and submit the loan application form for approval
Maintain records of credit payments and request clients to pay for overdue accounts.
Prepare reports and statements of customers with outstanding loans.
Perform the process in full compliance with loan lending protocols.
Follow up on inquiries from junior team members and loan lenders.
Work with specialist software to examine the financial standing and create reports on financial risks.
Use comparison and statistical models to identify the possibilities of success and failure in a business.
Arrange customer visits with banking relationship managers or credit managers
Review credit limits of current customers
Stay updated with legislation for lending credit to organisations or customers.
Effectively communicate with external and internal parties.
3. Credit Analyst Vs Financial Analyst
A financial analyst is involved in budgeting, investing, valuation, forecasting, and mergers and acquisitions. In contrast, a Credit Analyst specifically analyses debt or credit opportunities in a company.
A financial analyst takes on varied roles within the finance sector, and a credit analyst works only in debt or credit positions in a company.
Financial analysts research the economic conditions surrounding the business sector and industry, forming decisions based on the research findings.
They may require building financial models to estimate future conditions or deciding to buy or sell a company's stock. On the other hand, Credit analysts evaluate a loan applicant's creditworthiness.
They gather relevant personal details and financial records, including income, liabilities, assets, bank statements, tax returns, debt repayments, superannuation statements, property titles, and payslips, suggesting the steps to apply for the credit application.
A Credit Analyst examines the operational risks, default risks, and risks related to credit underwriting at a bank or financial institution. A financial analyst looks at the broader picture and presents the upside and the downside risk factors of investment proposals to the company.
4. What Skills Do You Need To Become A Credit Analyst?
Employers look for a combination of technical and soft skills in a candidate for this role.
The following are the skills needed to become a good credit analyst:
Background in finance, accounting, or business
Able to accurately compile financial data and figures
Advanced numeracy and mathematical skills
Proficiency in working with Statistical Models, Financial Software, and Excel spreadsheets
Create and format charts and graphs to sort and analyse vast datasets.
Strong computer skills to operate general office machinery scanners, telephones, printers, fax machines, and copiers daily.
Business acumen and commercial awareness
Financial Analysis, Accounting, and Quantitative Analysis skills
Good understanding of lending criteria
Great attention to detail
Ability to work on multiple projects simultaneously
Able to work to deadlines
Strong communication skills
Able to work while conforming to strict financial services guidelines
Good time management skills
Able to cope with the pressure
Able to pro-actively research their industry to learn new terminologies
5. Credit Analyst Qualifications in Australia
You do not need any formal education to become a Credit Analyst. However, employers expect candidates to have qualifications in accounting, finance, or other related fields.
Complete high school Year 12 education in English, economics, and mathematics
Complete a university qualification such as a Bachelor of Finance. Alternatively, complete a VET qualification in credit management or financial services, such as Certificate II in Financial Services. A relevant diploma qualification with related work experience could be acceptable.
A relevant postgraduate qualification like a Master of Finance and a Chartered Financial Analyst designation will enhance your career options.
6. Steps To Become A Credit Analyst In Australia
Do you want to apply for the position of Certified Credit Analyst in Australia? Follow the below steps to start your professional journey:
Step 1: Get The Education
You can become a credit analyst without any formal education and training. However, it is good to complete a university qualification to gain expert training in technical procedures and skills while developing your industry knowledge.
A bachelor's degree in accounting, finance, or economics, like a 3-year Bachelor of Finance, is an excellent qualification. It helps acquire basic knowledge of lending criteria, risk assessment, legislation, and guidelines affecting financial service industries before starting as a professional credit analyst.
Alternatively, consider completing a Certificate II/III in Financial Services or Certificate IV in Credit Management.
Step 2: Gain A Post Graduate Qualification
A postgraduate qualification will further improve your employment prospects and support career progression. An 18-months full-time Master of Finance degree is an excellent choice.
This qualification will help develop advanced knowledge in statistics, economics, and financial analysis essential for risk management.
Step 3: Complete A CFA program
Earning an internationally recognised Chartered Financial Analyst certificate will put you in a better position to launch a career.
Step 4: Join Related Communities
Consider joining extracurricular clubs and societies related to finance and business. Not only will it strengthen your resume, but it will also broaden your professional network.
Step 5: Gain Work Experience
Industry experience is crucial as many employers seek applicants with a minimum of two years experience in a lending institution.
Internships and Volunteering are good ways to get trained, develop job-relevant skill sets, connect with like-minded individuals, and access more career advancement opportunities.
You can apply for finance or business-related internships while studying in high school or university. A professional work experience in an in-person setting is an excellent opportunity to develop your knowledge directly from industry experts.
Mentioning work experience on your resume demonstrates your dedication to the role and familiarity with the working environment and daily activities. It assures them of your suitability for the position.
Step 6: Become A Member of AICM
The Australian Institute of Credit Management is the leading professional body established for consumer credit management and commercial professionals in Australia.
Membership in this professional body lets you stay updated with industry trends and developments. Further, you can be connected with credit professionals to perform better, advance in the profession, and accomplish better outcomes.
7. Credit Analyst Courses In Australia
Do you want to know how to become a credit analyst without experience? Credit analyst courses prepare students to perform credit management functions for various financial services sectors and other industries.
Certificate II in Financial Services
Certificate II in Financial Services is a nationally-recognised qualification conducted by the Australian Institute of Financial Services and Accounting. This entry-level course is available as a self-paced and face-to-face learning mode in the form of research, analysis, and presentations.
The course introduces students to the financial services industry, financial products and client interactions in an organisational or financial service environment.
The course leads to the following career opportunities:
Credit services officer
Customer service officer
Credit manager (in smaller organisations)
Certificate III in Financial Services
This nationally recognised entry-level qualification focuses on clerical and administrative skills related to banking, insurance, retail finance, and credit management. It helps develop the foundation to start confidently in the financial services industry.
The course is available online, on-campus, off-campus, and in combination modes. Traineeship opportunities are also available.
Client service officer
Data entry operator
Certificate IV in Credit Management
The course is ideal for credit professionals who offer services to individuals (consumer credit) or businesses (commercial credit). The training equips students with practical knowledge and tools to become credit professionals.
The AICM is Australia's only credit industry-specific RTO conducting this distance education course. The program is delivered through interactive online sessions to enable students to study anywhere and anytime.
Customer service officer
Credit manager (in smaller organisations)
Diploma of Credit Management
This one-year course is delivered online or in a workshop environment. The diploma course is suited for credit professionals who work in commercial or consumer credit in the following settings and seek a credit management role:
Organisations that offer invoice discounting facilities
Businesses that provide retail credit to customers
8. Work Environment For Credit Analysts
It is primarily a desk job in a fast-paced office setting within the financial services sector. Credit analysts spend a lot of time working on a computer using financial software to collect, compute, and examine customers' financial data.
They often work full-time with a standard 35- to 40-hour per week. Still, they may sometimes require working outside business hours when assigned to significant cases. The job also involves occasional travel to a different location to attend meetings or visit clients.
9. What Type Of Employers Recruit A Credit Analyst?
Work opportunities for Credit Analysts are available in several regions of Australia in the following sectors:
Commercial and Investment Banks
Credit card companies
Retail and Wholesale trading companies
Credit Rating Agencies
Institutional Investors/Investment companies
In the credit department of various companies
Credit Analysts can also work independently and advise their clients on obtaining credit. Opportunities are also available in companies related to debt collection and recovery.
The most common Credit Analyst jobs include:
Credit services officer
Credit Recoveries officer
Credit manager (in smaller organisations)
10. Credit Analyst Career Path In Australia
A credit analyst usually begins his career as a junior credit analyst. This is an entry-level position for candidates who have recently graduated in a discipline such as finance, accounting, commerce, or economics.
After gaining several years of experience, companies promote them to a senior credit analyst position. These positions come with greater responsibilities that require supervising a team of junior credit analysts, taking critical decisions for the credit department, or managing the analytical department of a company.
A credit analyst can specialise in a niche segment and progress their career by working in the following roles:
Consumer Credit Analyst
Corporate Credit Analyst
Financial Institutions Analyst
Sovereign Credit Analyst
Credit Investment Analyst
11. Job Outlook For Credit Analysts In Australia
The "Credit Analyst" is a professional, white-collar profession. Besides banks and credit rating agencies, credit analysts are in high demand with businesses that extend credit to their customers.
Retail store chains, auto manufacturers, and energy and utility services need credit analysts to help them collect and review the financial data of loan applicants. Additionally, the job opens the door to becoming an Investment Banker, Portfolio Manager, and Trust/Loan Manager.
With more banks offering attractive lending options to attract customers, the need for credit analysts to execute loan lending duties will rise in years to come.
Moreover, the constantly changing economy presents a high demand and growth opportunities for credit analysts in Australia. Credit analysts' employment will likely grow moderately in the country.
Looking at the competition for entry-level positions in credit and lending roles, gaining a relevant bachelor's degree and professional work experience is essential to getting a job quickly.
12. How Much Does A Credit Analyst In Australia?
The credit analyst's salary varies based on their qualification, work experience, skill set, regional location, existing client base, and the specific employer.
The average credit analyst salary in Australia is AU$ 69,625 per year, equivalent to AU$ 29.06 per hour. The starting salary could be low but gradually increases as you gain experience and advance your knowledge and skill set.
Entry-level Credit Analyst with (< 1-year experience) earns AU$63,265
Early career Credit Analyst with (1 to 4 years of experience) earns AU$67,733
Mid-career Credit Analyst with (5 to 9 years of experience) earns AU$77,053
Senior credit analyst salary in Australia with (10 to 19 years of experience) earns AU$79,228
The top-paying Australian cities for Credit Analysts are as follows:
North Sydney, New South Wales: $94,185 per year
Sydney, New South Wales: $93,226 per year
Parramatta, New South Wales: $93,066 per year
Credit analyst salary in Melbourne: $91,358 per year
Brisbane Queensland: $89,599 per year
Sydney Central Business District New South Wales: $88,871 per year
13. What Are Credit Analyst Exit Opportunities In Australia?
The most common exit opportunities for Credit Analysts include:
A Credit Analyst is a high-intensity and responsible job that involves assisting corporations and individuals in meeting their loan needs.
While working in this role, you assess creditworthiness and recommend steps to enhance the credit ratings of loan applicants.
A relevant university qualification or a Certification IV in Credit Management is the ideal way to kickstart a career as a credit analyst.
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