Credit Analysts perform the pivotal role of analysing the creditworthiness, i.e., ability to fulfill financial obligation of any asset. This analysis gives vital information to stakeholders who’re contemplating investing in the project/organization. Obviously, the role entails a huge responsibility and requires a candidate who can understand multiple perspectives.

Key skills for an entry-level role would be:

  1. Strong analytical and quantitative skills: Credit Analysis requires digging deep into financial statements and analyzing credit default risks using tools like ratio analysis in multiple scenarios. Hence it is important to have an analytical bent of mind
  2. Knowledge of financial (and at times, risk) analysis: A Credit Analyst needs to know his/her way around financial statements, and develop a nose for finding items that may impact the company’s (or individual’s) debt paying abilities. Risk analysis is often part of the job profile and different scenarios may need to be analyzed
  3. Attention to detail and diligence: Needless to say, errors made while assessing an entity’s credit-worthiness can prove costly for every stakeholder involved
  4. Communication skills: Credit Analysts (especially those working for rating agencies) are involved in preparing rating / financial standing reports. This calls for excellent report writing skills. Apart from this, they also have to interact with company management or clients regularly, to cull out information as well as to discuss issues. Such probing for information demands good people and oral communication skills
  5. Comfort with Financial/Statistical software: Credit analysis often includes risk analysis using statistical software. Hence knowledge and comfort with these would be an advantage
  6. Multitasking: Most Credit Analysts work on several companies’ data at a time or may be involved in processing more than one loan / credit card application. This underscores the importance of multitasking without compromising on accuracy

How to get in:

A Credit Analysis job is challenging and requires strong analytical skills

  • Chartered accountants and MBA graduates are most sought after for these jobs since they have a solid background in accounting and financial analysis
  • Graduates are often recruited as junior analysts / management trainees assisting analysts. However, to move up the ladder, one usually needs a Masters degree
  • A Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) or Financial Risk Manager (FRM) certification is sought after in this field

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