Comparing Loans Officers to Credit Analysts
Loan officer and credit analyst are both important roles in determining whether an individual or business is deemed worthy of receiving a loan. Loan officers walk clients through the entire process of loan application and approval, while credit analysts dig deep into credit history to advise on the riskiness of extending credit to the client. Other similarities and differences between these two paths in the field of finance are discussed below.
|Job Title||Education Requirements||Median Salary (2017)*||Job Growth (2016-2026)*|
|Loan Officer||Bachelor's Degree in Finance, Business, or a related field||$64,660||11%|
|Credit Analyst||Bachelor's Degree in Business, Math, Accounting, or a related field||$71,290||8%|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Responsibilities of Loan Officers vs. Credit Analysts
Loan officer and credit analyst are similar positions, in that they are both professionals who work in office settings and hold key positions in determining whether a bank or other organization will be willing to offer a consumer a loan. The responsibilities of a loan officer are a little broader, as they work with individuals through the entire loan application and approval process. This includes everything from explaining loan options, to the final determination of approval. As you may have figured out from their name, credit analysts are more focused on examining clients' credit and financial history to determine if a loan or additional credit should be offered.
A loan officer works on behalf of a financial institution to guide customers through the loan application process, as well as ultimately deciding if the loan is approved. It is common for loan officers to consult underwriting software that calculates the customer's financial situation in order to make a determination, which is considered along with other pertinent information. Customers, whether an individual or a business, must be effectively and clearly guided through the process, as repeat business can be key and loan officers often work based on commission. Some of these officers work in specialized fields, such as mortgage and commercial. Most loan officers have earned a bachelor's degree in business, finance, or a related field. Those who work with mortgages must be licensed, as well.
Job responsibilities of a loan officer include:
- Market lending services to attract new clients
- Ensure that client's financial paperwork is accurate and complete
- Clearly explain all aspects of the loan process in easy to understand terms
- Properly record and track credit and loan information
Credit analysts examine the credit history of customers to determine if they should be eligible to receive additional credit or a loan. Often the findings and conclusions of the credit analyst are sent to a manager for a final determination. These analysts use their knowledge of math and business as they read over credit records, looking for trends and potential risk factors. Many types of companies employ credit analysts, including credit unions and banks. Work is generally done during normal business hours in an office setting. A bachelor's degree in accounting, business, or math is recommended.
Job responsibilities of a credit analyst include:
- Give advice on improving credit scores
- Report on possible warning signs of credit risk
- Determine appropriate interest rates
- Keep clients' records up-to-date
If you are looking for an entry level position in a related field, you may want to learn more about becoming a bank teller. Credit counselor is a person who works with clients to reduce debt and improve overall financial standing.