Credit supports significant levels of economic activity. Commercial and industrial suppliers issue trade credit to their buyers. Consumers rely on loans and credit cards for purchasing vehicles, other merchandise and homes. In the educational arena, loans fund many higher education pursuits. The credit and collections analysts plays a significant role in the delivery of credit. The below credit and collections analyst job description guide explains how they perform the role, how they become equipped to perform and how the economy shapes job opportunities.
What Does a Credit and Collections Analyst Do?
Within the credit and collections analyst job description lies the roles of gatekeeper and recovery specialists. In the former, the analyst helps the lender or vendor determine who should receive credit or a loan and the terms for the grant. This calls upon the analyst to summon financial and risk assessment knowledge and skills. On the collections end, an analyst tries to mitigate or eliminate losses that result from customers defaulting or on the brink of doing so.
Credit and Collections Analyst Job Duties
- Analyze credit information and financial statements of credit applicants
- Calculate financial ratios, such as debt-to-income and debt-to-equity, using computer applications and systems
- Determine and report to credit underwriters or collections staff on customer’s risk of default or nonpayment
- Complete credit or loan applications and submit to loan committees or credit or loan underwriters and officers for decision
- Review customers’ account, payment, sales, purchase and savings behavior and history with companies and others
- Flag delinquent accounts and defaults for collections, including, but not limited to, lawsuits
- Formulate proposed payment plans based on account activity and savings information of customer
- Verify that invoices, complete, accurate and properly and timely delivered
In the healthcare field, credit and collections analysts often work on insurance matters. They obtain Medicare or Medicaid, insurance and other third-party payer information from patients or their family members. Where a patient may need financial assistance, the analyst may verify eligibility for Medicaid or establish payment plans for out-of-pocket costs borne by the patient.
Credit and Collections Analyst Job Essential Skills
Analytical. To assess risks, analysts must understand and interpret financial ratios and data. Analysis involves determining whether applicants have enough income to make payments or enough equity in property to satisfy the debt or serve as collateral.
Computer. Software applications help analysts calculate financial ratios, net income and net value. Computer skills also include using spreadsheets and calendar applications, coding information from or related to credit applications and emailing. According to O*NET, approximately nine in ten credit and collections analysts use email daily.
Dispute and Problem Resolution. Analysts encounter problems, such as disputes, customers’ difficulties or reluctance to pay bills and credit applicants with potential credit problems. To solve these issues requires the ability to consider options, weigh advantages and disadvantages and implement the chosen course. For scenarios where complete collection is unlikely, the ability to propose negotiations or settlement may help resolve delinquent accounts. Knowledge
Time Management. The credit and collections analyst job description includes adhering to multiple and tight time pressures. Deadlines consist of those to approve applications, initiate collections and lawsuits and file claims in or respond to notices in bankruptcy or other legal proceedings. Managing time requires the ability to prioritize tasks and delegate certain work to co-workers.
Becoming a Credit and Collections Analyst Professional
To find credit and collection analyst jobs, prospects must combine education, skills and experience in financial matters, computers and the ability to lead teams and persuade debtors into payment. Backgrounds in credit or collection operations, finance and business or in the specific economic sector of work can enhance employment opportunities.
Education and Training
At a minimum, prospective credit and collections analysts must have a high school diploma. For some employers, a college degree is a requirement or preference. According to O*NET, one in two analysts have a college degree. Holders of associates’ degrees account for 27 percent of credit and collections analysts.
Coursework should cover finance, business, economics, math, computer science and accounting. Industry-specific classes may also prove helpful. For instance, analysts with hospitals or medical insurance companies should include healthcare administration and medical office management in their curriculum.
Community colleges or specialty institutes afford training in collection procedures and processing and recommending credit or loan applications. In these sessions, prospects learn laws related to credit practices, credit reporting and debt collection. Certain employers, especially banks and collection agencies, may train analysts and expose them to company-specific policies and practices, as well as applicable laws and regulations.
Generally, candidates should have prior work experience in credit or collections. Billing offices or departments, call centers, insurance agencies and business offices afford opportunities for workers to perform functions such as invoicing, preparing bills, receiving customer inquires about bills and processing loan or insurance applications. In many of these settings, prospective analysts have used Excel, other spreadsheet programs or invoice or billing templates.
Applicants may tout their experience in certain industries. Analysts for construction companies or suppliers may have prior work in the construction field as crew members for contractors or salespeople for suppliers.
Where an applicant has a college degree in finance or a related field, some employers might not require experience in credit and collection work.
As a general rule, credit and collection analysts log full-time hours. Shifts normally run during regular business hours and on weekdays, though overtime or evening work is possible where deadlines approach. Analysts may work longer hours to assemble credit applications, sales invoices, billing statements and balances due for lawsuits or presenting claims in bankruptcy proceedings. Other deadlines may increase workloads and work periods.
Normally, analysts do not work holidays. For analysts on the collection side, laws limiting times for collection calls may prevent late evening work.
O*NET reports a predicted five to eight-percent increase in employment of credit and collection analysts through 2024. This translates to 34,300 openings. As of 2024, the occupation numbered 69,000.
Demand for credit and collection analysts will turn on conditions in the economy. As businesses or customers increase their purchases or spending activity, they may turn to credit as a funding mechanism. This will sustain the need for analysts to determine the creditworthiness of buyers or borrowers. Economic downturns may spur a greater use of analysts who focus on collection. With growing unemployment or diminishing income, customers are more likely to fall behind on payments and trigger collection efforts.
Those pursuing credit and collection analyst jobs will need experience in the credit, sales or billing arenas and an ample base of skills and knowledge in finance, math and computers. Additional talents include management of time and disputes. Along with these abilities, the state of the economy can spur the need for credit and collection analysts to help grant credit or assist with delinquent accounts or recouping money.