Banks require credit analysts to have superior finance, accounting, credit administration and management knowledge. Analysts must have a bachelor's degree in finance or business administration along with 3-7 years of banking and credit experience. Commercial banks may also require credit administrators to have several years of lending and loan review experience.
Credit analysts work with banks to develop lending strategies, oversee financial operations, maintain executive accounts and portfolios, review loans and investments and adhere to credit regulations. Analysts must be able to communicate with bank managers and other banking professionals to complete financial transactions and approve various credit solutions. Credit analysts must be extremely knowledgeable of credit laws, bank regulations and proper financial practices.
A bachelor's degree in finance, business administration, economics or accounting is required to become a bank credit specialist. Of those, a bachelor's degree in finance is most commonly preferred.
Bachelor of Science in Finance
A bachelor's degree program in finance focuses on the financial aspects of business operation, banking and globalization. Students learn the history and functions of monetary systems, financial institutions and lending. Programs have significant accounting and business administration coursework. Typical courses include studies on these topics:
- Financial markets and institutions
- Theories of economics
- Investments and risk management
- Corporate finance
- International business
- Financial decision-making and management strategies
Certifications and Continuing Education
Licenses are not required for credit analysts. Certification from a various banking organization is not required, but having such a credential may improve career prospects. Several groups offer certification courses and programs, including the Banker's Academy and the American Bankers Association (ABA).
The Banker's Academy offers individual certification courses in various areas of banking and credit management. Credit analysts can take courses in commercial lending, financial communication, community banking, financial security and compliance, credit risk management and financial analysis. When credit analysts are certified in five areas, they are eligible for advanced certifications, which are available in many of the same areas.
The ABA allows credit analysts and administrators to become certified lender business bankers (CLBBs). Certification is ideal for credit analysts, lending officers and loan managers. To earn CLBB certification, credit professionals must have a combination of professional experience and a bachelor's degree. Candidates must submit a letter of recommendation, sign an ethics agreement and pass a comprehensive banking exam before obtaining certification.
The National Association of Credit Management (NACM) offers a variety of workshops and seminars, including online courses, teleconferences, regional conferences and banking seminars and legal workshops. Workshops discuss specific areas of credit management, such as commercial credit analysis, loan review, financial negotiations and mediation, business development and credit regulations. Members of the ABA can attend annual regional conferences held throughout the country. Conferences typically last several days.
The ABA maintains a list of more than 20 conferences, seminars and workshops that are held throughout the year. Some workshops are held in conjunction with other financial organizations and provide credit professionals with a wealth of training and career information. Typical workshops discuss risk management, financial human resources management, wealth and portfolio management and financial compliance. Conferences are held for executive, mid-management and frontline credit professionals.
For professional development resources, credit analysts can seek membership with the Banker's Academy, ABA or NACM. Each organization offers a number of published and online networking, career and training resources for credit professionals.
Banker's Academy offers free banking tutorials and continuing education opportunities for members. The ABA provides publications, surveys and various legal resources for credit analysts, as well as in-bank training sessions. Members of NACM have access to a credit management blog, newsletter and community discussion forum. To advance to management positions within banks, credit unions or other financial institutions, credit analysts can also obtain a Master of Business Administration (MBA) or Master of Science in Finance (MSF).
Students in a Bachelor of Science in Finance program will delve into business operation, banking, finance, and other accounting coursework. This program is designed to prepare students for a career as a credit analyst to work in banks or other financial institutions.