Credit SpecialistJob Description, Salary, Career Path, and Trends

Credit specialists analyze and review a customer’s credit application and financial records to determine whether or not the customer qualifies for a loan or a line of credit. Credit specialists may also assist in the recovery of unpaid dues. Credit specialists ascertain the degree of risk involved in extending credit to applicants, so they must have an acute attention to detail and excellent research skills. They also have to ensure that applications conform to the criteria set by lenders. 

A credit specialist has strong math skills, current knowledge of all applicable governing rules and regulations, and must have a good understanding of borrowing and spending practices. They must have a good ability to negotiate credit limits and repayment options. Interpersonal skills are essential as they have to discuss billing issues and past due accounts with customers. Written communication skills are needed as credit specialists prepare credit approval packages, renew existing credit accounts, and document exceptions. Credit specialists must ensure that credit applications comply with all applicable federal and state laws and regulations and must stay up-to-date on any changes. Analytical thinking and sound judgment are also essential skills for this role.

Sample job description #1

The Credit Specialist is responsible for initiating proper action to maintain the integrity of the accounts receivable. This position is required to be a proactive thinker and demonstrate an ability to make sound, timely decisions. The Credit Specialist will consistently work to further enhance administrative processes and procedures to drive operational efficiency.

Essential functions:

  • Collection calls and/or emails to customers completed timely and in a professional manner
  • Timely database entry of clear, concise notes regarding customer communications
  • Provide customer service regarding collection issues
  • Responsible for monitoring and maintaining assigned accounts
  • Manage production and distribution of customer dunning letters and processing of credit applications
  • Oversee processing of customer credit reference requests
  • Proactively review and resolve discrepancies with pending price worksheets, tickets & invoices
  • Supervise incoming payment process in compliance with policies and procedures
  • Proactively contact plant personnel to routinely resolve any open issues within COD purchases
  • Manage the accounts receivable ledger to ensure that all payments are accounted for and properly posted
  • Generate and distribute invoices in a timely and accurate fashion
  • Manage the review and processing of customer’s documents (tax-exempt forms, purchase orders, and quotes)
  • Process authorized credit and debit adjustments in a timely and accurate fashion
  • Develop effective and collaborative working relationships with Sales & Operations
  • Support a collaborative team environment within the department and company

Requirements, education and experience:

  • This position requires superior communication skills and frequently interacts with customers, Sales, operations, senior management, and internal department heads
  • Strong coordination, time management, active listening, oral and written expression and comprehension, critical thinking, and reasoning skills
  • Ability to exercise good judgment with prioritizing tasks
  • Goal oriented and task focused
  • 5+ years of either accounts receivable, billing, credit and/or collections experience
  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Proficient verbal and written English
  • Legal right to work in the U.S.

Sample job description #2

Responsible for monitoring and maintaining accounts receivable. Communicates with customers to resolve problems and delinquent accounts.


  • Responsible for monitoring and maintaining assigned accounts
  • Accountable for reducing delinquency for assigned accounts.
  • Providing customer service regarding collection issues, resolve client discrepancies and short payments.
  • Working with internal and external customers to resolve disputed items
  • Evaluates credit reports and other customer information and provides recommendations regarding establishment of credit within the company guidelines.
  • Review daily orders on hold for reasons such as delinquent balances, balances exceeding credit limits, etc. and determine whether orders can be released, or consequently set expectations as to what action items are necessary in order to resume shipping
  • Use Analytical skills to review A/R aging reports and identify areas in need of concentration
  • Produce ad hoc reports as required by manager

Competencies and experience

To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements/preferences listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • College degree preferred but not required in Business or Accounting
  • General knowledge of basic accounting principles
  • 5 to 8 years commercial collections experience required
  • Ability to problem solve
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Must be able to work independently with minimal supervision
  • Excellent organizational skills and interpersonal skills
  • Significant experience using MS Excel and Word
  • Commitment to Excellence and Teamwork

Sample job description #3

The Credit Specialist will be responsible for performing all credit and collections functions associated with mid-tier account portfolio in accordance with the credit department goals and objectives.

Responsibilities of the credit specialist include, but are not limited to:

  • Perform account management tasks related to credit and collections and overall accounts receivable management
  • Perform periodic analysis on their customer account portfolio. Perform root cause analysis to resolve problems in timely manner
  • Recommend credit limits for accounts in the portfolio and Identify issues needing escalation
  • Extend credit to customers within their limits of authority and approve credit inquiries
  • Generate account statements, provide billing documentation and prepares credit adjustments where applicable
  • Identify delinquency drivers and achieve resolution is required
  • Ensure optimal cash flow by continued positive contact and relationship building
  • Facilitate customer meetings
  • Other duties and tasks as assigned by Credit Manager

Qualifications of the credit specialist include, but are not limited to:

  • Degree in Accounting/Finance preferred or 3+ years of equivalent experience in AR/AP or credit role preferred
  • 2+ years’ experience with electronic billing (ADP, Oildex, EDI)
  • Intermediate Excel skills (VLOOKUP/pivot tables/power queries)
  • Intermediate knowledge of financial statements and credit reporting tools (D&B, etc.)
  • Experience managing portfolio; intermediate understanding of reconciliations
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills across all organizational levels
  • Work well independently, part of a team and takes initiative to deliver on results in acceptable period of time
  • Travel to customer or field locations to perform account reviews with credit manager as required
  • Candidate must have an acceptable driving record according to company guidelines

Average salary and compensation

The average salary for a credit specialist is $68,000 in the United States. Position salary will vary based on experience, education, company size, industry, and market.

LocationSalary LowSalary High
Phoenix, Arizona$67,650$91,500
Los Angeles, California$76,300$103,200
Denver, Colorado$63,600$86,000
Washington, DC$77,450$104,800
Miami, Florida$63,300$85,650
Orlando, Florida$58,400$79,000
Tampa, Florida$58,950$79,750
Atlanta, Georgia$61,850$83,650
Chicago, Illinois$71,100$96,200
Boston, Massachusetts$76,850$104,000
Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota$61,250$82,900
New York City, New York$80,900$109,500
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania$65,900$89,150
Dallas, Texas$64,150$86,800
Houston, Texas$63,600$86,000
Seattle, Washington$74,000$100,100
National Average$57,800$78,200

Sample interview questions

  • What experience do you have working with credit and debt instruments?
  • How would you handle a difficult customer or client?
  • What do you know about our company and our products/services?
  • Why are you interested in this position?
  • What are your long-term career goals?
  • What are some of your strengths and weaknesses?
  • Can you describe a time when you had to take ownership of a difficult situation?
  • What can you tell me about a time when you had to manage or work with a tight deadline?
  • Can you think of an instance where you utilized teamwork to achieve success?
  • Tell me about a time when you went above and beyond your job duties.
  • How do you handle stress and pressure in the workplace?
  • Do you have any questions for me?

Credit Specialist Jobs in Ashburn

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