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How to Become a Credit and Collections Manager

Career News May 29, 2014

Do you enjoy talking to people? Do you also have a sound understanding of finance, interest, and business profitability? Then, it’s time to test you and move higher up in the corporate ladder. A manager’s role may well suit you.

A credit and collections manager presides over the collections department of the lending company or bank, and the subfield of credit; it is frequently in the credit card business. With a salary of over $76,000 (according to the Certified Compensation Professionals survey), it’s easy to see why this is a popular career path for young students fresh out of college.

Roles and Responsibilities

The job involves investigating credit risks and administering collections programs. You have the duties of monitoring accounts in collections and in implementing new programs designed to reduce receivables. This is a challenging field because you will oftentimes have to deal with difficult clients, or no clients at all who still have open accounts. How you choose to use your creativity and determination to get the money owed to your business will determine your value.

Obviously, aiming for this type of position requires analytical skills as well as creative abilities. You will analyze figures, and sometimes work out compromises and payoff figures. Of course, just because you are a manager does not mean that you can arbitrarily write off or negotiate contracts. You verify all figures that are in compliance with federal, state and local laws and make sure they reflect the wishes of the business. Negotiating ability, as well as independent thinking, is also appreciated.

Educational Requirements

Education matters because credit and collections managers oversee the collections department. They implement new programs and maintain authority over the staff. The bachelor’s degree should be obtained, since managerial assignments require education. Try to focus your collegial efforts in a related course, such as finance or economy.

Even though education is expected, don’t assume that it’s enough to qualify you for this role. Most applicants come from seven years of solid experience in the field. You don’t necessarily need managerial experience, but familiarity with the company and the business is required. Over time, you learn the processes and policies that make your department possible and that make operations efficient.

Additional steps to take before applying for this job might include continuing education, in order to help you keep up with credit report laws, business groups, finance theory, and network frequently with important contacts. Communication skills allow you to excel in negotiation, in communicating with upper management, and building rapport and trust with others.

While this work is about bottom line and profitability, you build trust with the people you speak with whether they are borrowers or your own co-workers.

This is an ideal career choice for someone who is driven, personable and values work ethic. If you succeed in collections or a related field, and have the education needed to stand up to competition, then it’s time to reach out for promotions and a rewarding career.

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