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

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

Preferred qualifications

  • Excellent communication skills
  • Some college coursework in business or marketing
  • 3+ years of Sales experience 
  • Experience with credit/debt instruments
  • Detail-oriented and organized

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

Typical work environment

Most of the work performed by a credit specialist will take place in an office setting. However, extended travel may be required to visit customers or clients at their place of business. The credit specialist will work with all levels of management within the organization and interact regularly with sales staff.

Typical hours

The typical work hours for a credit specialist can be from 9 AM to 5 PM, Monday through Friday in an office setting. However, longer or different hours can be necessary.

Available certifications

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).

Career path

The career path for a credit specialist starts with obtaining a bachelor’s degree in accounting, finance, or a related field. Candidates can further their career prospects and potential by earning CCRA certification from the National Association of Credit Management.

US, Bureau of Labor Statistics’ job outlook

SOC Code: 43-4041

2020 Employment25,300
Projected Employment in 203024,100
Projected 2020-2030 Percentage Shift 5% decrease
Projected 2020-2030 Numeric Shift1,200 decrease

Although some aspects of credit and financial processes are being automated, jobs in this field are estimated to grow in the next handful of years at a rate that’s about average in comparison to careers across the board. Credit specialist looks to be a stable career for interested and talented candidates.

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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