What Does a Credit Specialist Do?
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 should be able to negotiate credit limits and repayment options as well as discuss billing issues and past due accounts with customers. Written communication skills are important as credit specialists prepare credit approval packages, renew existing credit accounts, and document exceptions. They must ensure that credit applications comply with all applicable federal and state laws and regulations and must stay up-to-date on any changes.
Are you a job seeker?
of job openings
and apply online
National Average Salary
Credit specialist salaries vary by experience, industry, organization size, and geography. To explore salary ranges by local market, please visit our sister site zengig.com.
The average U.S. salary for a Credit Specialist is:
Credit Specialist Job Descriptions
When it comes to recruiting a credit specialist, having the right job description can make a big difference. Here are some real world job descriptions you can use as templates for your next opening.
The credit specialist is responsible for working with customers and clients to establish credit terms, reviewing and approving credit applications, and maintaining customer credit files. They will also work with sales staff to identify and mitigate risks associated with extending credit to customers. This position is designed to assist the sales team by mitigating the risk associated with extending credit to customers. The ideal candidate will have excellent communication skills, be able to maintain composure when dealing with difficult customers or clients, and have some college coursework in business or marketing. At [Your Company Name] we work to showcase our passion for our consumers, and we need a credit specialist to share that passion when extending credit.
Typical duties and responsibilities
- Enter, update and retrieve information for credit applications
- Determine the creditworthiness of applicants
- Designate the degree of risk involved in extending credit by performing cash flow analyses of businesses
- Ensure all approved applications comply with firm and lender criteria
- Respond to inquiries from lenders
- Assist with company and client audits
Education and experience
This position requires a bachelor’s degree in accounting, finance, or a related field.
Required skills and qualifications
- Ability to research and evaluate data to make informed decisions and solve problems
- Strong mathematical and analytical skills
- Sense of discretion and willingness to maintain strict confidentiality of pertinent and sensitive information
- A high degree of accuracy and attention to detail
- Proficient in Microsoft Office Suite
- Excellent communication skills
- Some college coursework in business or marketing
- 3+ years of Sales experience
- Experience with credit/debt instruments
- Detail-oriented and organized
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.
- 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.
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
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
Candidate Certifications to Look For
No specific certifications are required for this position. However, the credit specialist may find it beneficial to pursue industry-specific certifications, such as the Certified Credit and Risk Analyst (CCRA) designation from the National Association of Credit Management (NACM).
How to Hire a Credit Specialist
There are a number of initial considerations when hiring a credit specialist:
- Recruiting: Do you have the internal resources and tools to successfully source and recruit for this role?
- Complexity: Does your project require a senior professional, or is a mid- or junior-level inspector sufficient?
- Duration: Is this a one-time project or a permanent requirement?
- Management: Do you have the time and expertise to direct the work effort effectively?
- Urgency: How time-sensitive is this need? What happens if it remains unfilled?
- Headcount: Do you have room on your team for a new W2 employee, or should you consider alternate options?
Answering these questions will help determine the best course of action for your current hiring need. Fortunately, various great options exist for every scenario, no matter how unique. We recommend the following options when hiring an aircraft inspector:
1. Use 4 Corner Resources (or another professional recruiting firm)
The heavy lifting is done for you when working with a top-tier staffing company like 4 Corner Resources. We source, screen, recruit, and deliver only the most qualified candidate(s), saving you significant time and effort throughout the hiring process while you remain focused on your core business. Understanding your needs and ensuring the right candidate for the position is the key to our success.
This is the best route to take when:
- You need to fill the position quickly
- You want access to a vast talent pool of high-quality, prescreened candidates
- Your position is suited for temporary hiring services, contract staffing, or contract-to-hire recruiting, and you intend to direct the work activity.
- You are hiring an employee as a direct placement but aren’t able to recruit effectively or efficiently with your internal staff.
- You aren’t familiar with current salary rates, market trends, and available skill sets
2. Advertise your opening on a top job board
Your best option may be to advertise your opening on a proven job board. There are many widely used job sites out there that draw visits from qualified candidates. If you have someone internally who can dedicate the time and energy to sort through applications and screen individuals effectively, this can be a great choice.
We recommend using a job board when:
- Your internal recruiting team has the knowledge and experience to assess candidate qualifications
- You are hiring a direct employee and have time to manage the entire recruiting effort
- You have a process for receiving, screening, and tracking all resumes and applications
- You are prepared to respond to all applicants
We recommend using CareerBuilder when hiring a credit specialist:
CareerBuilder has been a trusted source for hiring since 1995. Reach 80+ million unique, diverse U.S. job seekers annually by posting your jobs through their talent acquisition channels. Through CareerBuilder, you can engage candidates and drive them into your sourcing pipeline. We recommend using CareerBuilder for hiring when you have the internal resources and processes to review, screen, and reply to all applicants.
3. Leverage your internal resources
You can utilize your own website, social media, and employees to assist in your search for top candidates.
A company website posting should be the first step in notifying prospective candidates that you are hiring. Social media can also be a powerful tool for spreading the word about your new opening. As far as exposure is concerned, this option can be as good as some job boards when you have a large enough following across various platforms, like LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and Twitter.
Current employees are every organization’s greatest asset. Encourage your internal team to promote job openings to their network by offering cash and other incentives.
We recommend these options when:
- Your brand has great name recognition
- You can consistently monitor and respond to candidate activity through your website and social media accounts
- You have a process in place to quickly and broadly communicate job openings and requirements
- You have an effective employee referral program in place
If you aren’t sure which path is best, schedule a discovery call today with our seasoned recruiting professionals. The 4 Corner team is on standby to help you find the best option for your unique hiring need.
Sample Interview Questions
- In order to process loan applications efficiently and effectively, how do you communicate with borrowers and other stakeholders, such as loan officers, processors, and underwriters?
- Have you ever managed a loan portfolio and monitored performance, including credit risk and payment history?
- What steps do you take to minimize losses for lenders when loans default or delinquent?
- Could you tell me about your experience with loan documentation and the closing process, and how you ensure that all loan terms and conditions are clearly understood?
- What steps do you take to protect against fraud and identity theft and to maintain confidentiality and security of sensitive financial information?
- What is the process you use to analyze creditworthiness and determine if a potential borrower is creditworthy?
- When making credit decisions, how do you evaluate and analyze financial statements and tax returns?
- When you had to make a difficult credit decision, what factors did you consider before making your decision?
- Do you keep up-to-date with changes in the credit and lending industry, as well as the financial markets?
- How do you ensure that the loans you underwrite and structure comply with regulations and credit policies?