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How to Become a Credit and Collections Supervisor

Career News May 29, 2014

A credit and collections supervisor exercises a manager’s authority over a department, in this case collections—the one responsible for negotiating payment with late or past due borrowers.

This is certainly not an easy task, given that you are dealing with stressful situations, and with clients who must be pressed into paying what they know they owe. Understanding the potential for abuse is necessary, as many collections agents give the industry a bad name. At the same time, if you never take action against borrowers who are past due, the company stands to lose money.

Roles and Responsibilities

This is not really the agent’s responsibility; he or she is the messenger. You are the supervisor, and it’s your job to shape the policy, and implement systems that work. Depending on your business, and your specific job description, you may be following corporate orders, or may actually develop your own system for improving accounts receivable.

Much of your work will involve investigating credit risks and overseeing staff of the collections agency. Although agents contact borrowers, you are the one who keeps the team motivated and keeps them thinking prolifically. This work requires street smarts, formal education, and the ability to communicate with people earnestly.

Naturally, no one looks forward to talking to collections agents, and no one is going to respond to bullying behavior. There are actually laws in place that prevent harassment from collections agents, and you will work cautiously so as to stay in compliance with all state laws.

The other part of your work consists of analytical smarts and mathematical understanding. You may use a calculator during your work, but you have to understand finance and lending, and the best way to eliminate debt for your business and for the borrower you’re negotiating with.

Work Experience and College Training

Most companies will not hire a manager applicant unless he or she possesses a bachelor’s degree. Managerial roles are complex and require an understanding of human nature, knowledge of business practices, and in particular, knowledge of the lending and financing business. You are urged to go to school for subjects like finance, business administration, or even credit investigations. These are the procedures you will be working with every day, and you are expected to know them.

There is no replacement for solid business experience and most companies will require anywhere from five to seven years of experience working in the field and credit. You may have to take an entry-level job at first, but as you remain consistent and prove yourself a team player with a thorough understanding of how the collections business works, you will prove yourself worthy of higher responsibility.

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. Why not go back to school now, even as you look for an entry-level job, and start aiming for a higher position in your career planning?

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