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Credit Analyst Career

How to Become a Credit Analyst

When somebody purchases a new home, they usually seek out the services of a credit analyst to ensure they qualify for a home loan. This loan can enable the buyer to afford their house and then make payments on it over time. If they don’t qualify for the loan, they might set goals with their credit analyst so that they can fulfill their dream of becoming a homeowner.

Credit analysts are professionals who facilitate loans, assess risk, and provide other credit-related services for their clients and customers. One of the primary goals of a credit analyst is to determine the creditworthiness of their clients, whether they’re individuals or organizations. Depending on their clients’ needs, credit analysts may act as either credit managers or loan officers.

Keep reading to learn more about the role of a credit analyst, including their core job responsibilities, recommended skills, and what type of education it takes to become one. The career of a credit analyst is a viable option for anyone interested in business or finance, or for somebody looking to enter an upper-level management position in investment banking or a related field.

What Is a Credit Analyst?

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Credit analysts are specifically trained to assess the credit history, credit rating, and overall creditworthiness of their clients. They interpret and evaluate credit data to help individuals, businesses, and other organizations qualify for and repay loans. This credit data includes client spending and saving habits that help suggest whether they should be approved for a loan.

Many credit analysts work for commercial or investment banks, credit rating agencies, credit unions, asset management firms, and financial consulting firms. Others provide their expertise for government agencies, private insurance companies, and corporate finance departments. Credit analysts are well versed in general business and finance practices and have a proficient understanding of economics and accounting principles. They should also be comfortable working with numbers and using data management programs like Microsoft Excel.

What Does a Credit Analyst Do?

Credit analysts spend their time collecting and evaluating financial data—typically via dedicated computer software programs—and meeting with clients to discuss concerns related to their credit. The day-to-day responsibilities of a credit analyst usually include the following:

  • Analyzing financial statements
  • Assessing credit risk
  • Researching industry and market trends
  • Scoring and rating credit
  • Preparing credit analysis reports
  • Collaborating with stakeholders
  • Monitor ongoing compliance with regulations
  • Performing daily due diligence as required

How to Become a Credit Analyst

To become a credit analyst, you should decide how much education you’d like to receive and identify what skills you’d like to hone. You should also keep in mind that education requirements may vary depending on the employer, level of position, area of expertise, and other factors. Consider the following steps as you prepare:

  • Step One: Obtain a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field such as accounting, finance, economics, or business administration
  • Step Two: Gain relevant work experience
  • Step Three: Develop financial analysis and credit analysis skills
  • Step Four: Consider earning an advanced degree such as an MBA, a master’s in finance, or a similar degree
  • Step Five: Consider acquiring professional certifications such as the Credit Risk Certification (CRC) and Chartered Credit Analyst (CCA)
  • Step Six: Build communication and networking skills
  • Step Seven: Apply for credit analyst positions
  • Step Eight: Prepare for job interviews

Additionally, many credit analysts in established careers find ways to continue their education. For example, they might attend professional development conferences or participate in online seminars.

What Skills Does a Credit Analyst Need?

A robust, relevant skill set can help advance a credit analyst’s career and prepare them for any number of on-the-job challenges. Such skills include:

  • Financial analysis. Discerning and interpreting numerical data makes up a large part of a credit analyst’s workload.
  • Credit risk assessment. Credit analysts should always determine the possibility of risk in lending money or extending credit to clients.
  • Industry and market knowledge. Being well versed in principles and practices pertaining to finance and credit analysis is key to success.
  • Attention to detail. Analysts need to see and assess small but significant details to solve problems effectively.
  • Problem-solving and decision-making. These skills should be well honed and applied daily.
  • Communication and presentation. Without clearly communicating their findings through speech and writing, credit analysts won’t be effective at their jobs.
  • Relationship building. Establishing and building relationships between coworkers and clients can help nurture trust.
  • Time management and organization. Credit analysts must be able to schedule their duties efficiently, especially time-consuming ones.
  • Ethical conduct. Since they deal with sensitive financial data, credit analysts should always conform to compliance standards and practice good business ethics.
  • Commitment to ongoing learning. Continuing to learn and develop professionally will serve credit analysts well as they advance in their careers.

Best Degrees for a Credit Analyst

Accounting – B.S. Business Administration

Have a knack for numbers or fine-tuning finances?...

Have a knack for numbers or fine-tuning finances?...

Have a knack for numbers or fine-tuning finances?

  • Time: 62% of graduates finish within 36 months.
  • Tuition: $3,755 per 6-month term.

Some careers and jobs this business degree will prepare you for:

  • Accounting manager
  • Financial director
  • Vice president of finance and operations
  • Chief financial officer
  • Forensic accountant

Take your first step toward CPA certification and learn how to use GAAP, ledgers, and journals.

Business Management – B.S. Business Administration

Hone your business acumen and garner added respect:...

Hone your business acumen and garner added...

Hone your business acumen and garner added respect:

  • Time: 68% of graduates finish within 36 months.
  • Tuition: $3,755 per 6-month term.

Sample careers and jobs this business degree will prepare you for:

  • Account executive
  • Business analyst
  • Program manager
  • Director or senior director
  • Vice president

This online degree program is an excellent choice for kick-starting your organizational management career.

Finance – B.S.

This online finance program is career-focused so you will gain...

This online finance program is career-focused so...

This online finance program is career-focused so you will gain relevant industry skills.

  • Time: 70% of graduates finish similar programs within 42 months.
  • Tuition: $3,575 per 6-month term.
  • Courses: 41 courses in this program.

Some careers and jobs this business degree will prepare you for:

  • Financial analyst
  • Finance director 
  • Investment banker
  • Insurance agent
  • Accountant

The competency-based model at WGU allows you to move as quickly as you can master the material, and do your coursework on your schedule. Flexibility is key with the B.S. in finance at WGU.

Master of Business Administration

The flexible MBA program you need, focused on business...

The flexible MBA program you need, focused on...

The flexible MBA program you need, focused on business management, strategy, and leading teams:

  • Time: Graduates can finish in 12 months.
  • Tuition: $4,755 per 6-month term.

Sample careers and jobs this business degree will prepare you for:

  • President and CEO
  • Vice president
  • Executive director
  • Chief strategic officer

Our competency-based model gives you an innovative learning experience you won't find anywhere else—and our MBA grads tell us they loved accelerating their program to see a faster ROI.

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What Is the Projected Job Growth of a Credit Analyst?


According to, the projected job growth rate for credit analysts in the U.S. is -4% from 2018 to 2028. However, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states that overall employment in business and finance is projected to grow by 7% from 2021 to 2031, which is about as fast as the average for all occupations. This increase is expected to result in about 715,100 new jobs over the decade.

Is a Career as a Credit Analyst Stressful?


Stress levels in a credit analyst career can change depending on the work environment, volume and complexity of credit assessments, and individual stress tolerance. Some factors may contribute to potential stress in this job, including:

  • Workload and deadlines
  • Accountability and decision-making
  • Risk and uncertainty
  • Compliance and regulatory requirements
  • Interpersonal relationships
  • Sensitivity of financial data

Certain organizations may allow credit analysts to work remotely or from home, which could potentially reduce stress.

Key Takeaways

A credit analyst career could be a promising option if you’re looking for a job focused on financial analysis. As a credit analyst, you’ll likely encounter ample opportunities to network and develop your professional knowledge and skills. This career may also be viable whether you’re just beginning your professional journey and deciding on which degree to pursue or you’re seeking a new career path altogether.

 Consider WGU for an accredited bachelor’s or master’s program that can point you in the right direction. WGU offers online programs designed with input from industry experts to prepare you to thrive in a lucrative career in finance. These programs are designed with no set log-in times for coursework, allowing you to study at a pace that works for you. Plus, our competency-based education model lets you progress as quickly as you master the material, so you can save money and graduate faster. Get started on your future career today!

Interested in Becoming a Credit Analyst?

Learn more about degree programs that can prepare you for this lucrative career.

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