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Become a Credit Collections Manager: Education and Career Roadmap

Find out how to become a credit collections manager. Research the education requirements and learn about the experience you need to advance your career in finance. View article »

  • 0:01 Credit Collections Manager
  • 0:47 Career Requirements
  • 1:32 Career Steps

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Credit Collections Manager

Credit collections managers supervise collections staff, establish credit ceilings, oversee outstanding accounts, serve as liaisons with collections attorneys, and authorize settlements with customers. These managers also maintain company collection files and manage the financial position of their company as it relates to the issuance of credit and risk.

Credit collections managers work for banks, financial services firms, and collection agencies in office settings, usually on a full-time basis. Such managers must collaborate and work well with others in a supervisory capacity. Almost all collections managers work full-time during regular business hours, although overtime and evening hours are possible.

Career Requirements

Degree Level Bachelor's degree
Degree Field Finance, accounting, business, or other related field
Certification Voluntary certification is available
Experience Varies; 3-5 years common
Key Skills Organizational, communication, and analytical skills as well as attention to detail; familiarity with industry-specific software, such as those used for credit adjudication and lending management, content workflow, and document management
Median Salary (2016)* $56,804

Sources: CareerBuilder job postings, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, O*Net Online, *Payscale.com

Career Steps

Step 1: Obtain an Entry-Level Position

Entry-level positions, like bill and account collectors, can help workers develop skills in negotiating payments, offering credit advice, and communicating with debtors. By taking an entry-level position, workers will also have an opportunity to gain professional experience while observing the daily duties and responsibilities of credit and collection managers. These positions typically require only a high school diploma and some form of on-the-job training.

Step 2: Earn a Bachelor's Degree

Employers looking to fill credit collection management positions typically require a bachelor's degree in accounting, business administration, finance, or a related field. A bachelor's degree program in accounting immerses students in the analysis and interpretation of financial information. Accounting majors are also taught skills in problem solving, management, and critical thinking, as well as business law.

Aspiring credit collections managers can expect coursework covering cost accounting, accounting systems, internal auditing, financial reporting, and information for decision making. Some bachelor's degree programs in business administration offer an accounting concentration within the major.

To really shine, obtain professional certification. Although not required, prospective credit collections professionals may consider obtaining a related credential, such as the Credit Business Associate (CBA) credential from the National Association of Credit Management. The CBA credential does not have a work experience requirement, but individuals will need to demonstrate knowledge of three related disciplines.

Step 3: Become a Credit and Collections Manager

With an undergraduate degree in accounting and several years of supervisory experience, a credit collections management position is within reach for a candidate with a good performance record and excellent people skills. This position usually reports to a senior manager or a controller and, depending on the size of the company, can have a large number of direct reports.

Step 4: Advance to a Supervisory Credit Collections Job

Employers of credit collections managers typically prefer candidates with at least 3-5 years of experience in credit and collections as well as supervisory experience. A credit collections supervisor typically manages a small team or unit within a company, assists in the preparation of financial reporting data, implements company policy, and serves as an intermediary between upper management and staff. Credit collections supervisors may also authorize extensions of customer credit, negotiate payments with customers, and maintain status reports for their team.

To recap, with an undergraduate degree and experience, as well as possibly certification, a credit collection manager can make about $57,000 a year to supervise collections staff, establish credit ceilings, oversee outstanding accounts, serve as liaisons with collections attorneys, and authorize settlements with customers.

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