The main task attributed to consumer credit analysts is to review data provided on loan and credit applications, in order to make a determination whether approving that application is a feasible risk for the bank or financial institution. Prerequisite to this, consumer credit analysts must have a firm grasp on what constitutes a good risk and what constitutes a faulty one. Credit analysts collect and analyze data and prepare reports for loan officers or managers concerning the application.
Because consumer financials are rarely cut and dried, credit analysts must be able to evaluate a large amount of information in a short period of time and provide an honest and objective appraisal of a person’s financial situation. It is the job of the analyst to take all the information provided by the client, and then to research additional information, as those with poor credit may try to hide the fact in order to obtain a loan or line of credit. Analysts must be able to see past the smoke screen of information and evaluate the real numbers.
Analysts then provide a report and recommendation to the officer in charge of the application. Some institutions may leave approval or rejection of loan applications to their credit analysts, while others may take their recommendations and allow the officer to have the final word.
Credit analysts also provide an audit of the bank’s accounts, from lines of credit, the checking accounts, to loans, ensuring that none of the accounts are delinquent. They may also watch a consumer’s credit in dealings outside the bank, to determine whether or not a person who holds a line of credit or loan is still a reasonable risk. Some analysts may meet with bank patrons to discuss credit issues or resolve complaints. Sometimes it will be the job of the analyst to explain to a customer why their application was denied.
Financial institutions require a bachelor’s degree in accounting or business management, as well as some experience working in finance. The ability to quickly consume and analyze data is vital, as is the ability to write coherent reports.