How to Become a Credit Manager


Although there are other paths you can take, a very common way to become a credit manager is to follow these steps:


1. Excel in math, economics, business and computer studies in high school

2. Determine if this field is suited to your attributes and ambitions 

3. Pursue a bachelor’s degree related to finance

4. Find an entry-level job in credit while you’re a student

5. Advance into positions such as Loan Officer, or Credit Analyst

6. Once you have sufficient experience and knowledge, apply to become a Credit Manager


If you’re thinking about a career in this field, then read on below to find out more about what credit managers do, how much money they typically earn, and what you can do to become one.




How Can I Prepare for This Career in High School?

While you’re in high school, excelling at math, economics, business, and computer studies will serve as excellent preparation for this profession.


Excelling at coursework and gaining experience in these areas will help prepare you for the work involved in this career at an early age, and will help you qualify for finance and related degree programs.



What Formal Education Will I Need?

The educational requirements for becoming a credit manager vary, although employers tend to hire candidates who have bachelor’s degrees, and in some cases master's degrees, in fields such as finance, business administration, accounting or economics. Pursuing a degree in one of these areas can help you learn financial analysis methods and familiarize you with relevant software.





What Experience Will I Need?

The role of a credit manager is generally awarded to those who have gained vast industry expertise by working in lower-level roles of progressive responsibility, and demonstrated competence and dedication along the way. For example, many credit managers have previously worked as a loan officer, accountant, securities sales agent, or credit analyst.



What is a Credit Manager?

Credit managers are responsible for overseeing their firm’s credit business. Typically, they aim to sell as much credit to customers as possible in order to bring in revenue for their employer. However, in order to mitigate risk, they must carefully set credit-rating criteria, determine credit ceilings, and monitor the collections of past-due accounts. 


Credit managers can either work in commercial credit, which involves dealing with business customers, or they work in consumer credit, which involves dealing with private customers.



What Does a Credit Manager Do?

Although their duties can vary, credit managers are generally responsible for the following:


• Assisting executive management in determining credit policies, procedures and standards

• Recruiting, hiring, training, supervising and supporting employees

• Managing a team of credit controllers, credit analysts or accounting technicians

• Achieving sales and revenue targets

• Resolving customer complaints

• Determining and communicating repayment schedules

• Checking customer credit ratings with banks and credit reference agencies

• Deciding whether to offer credit

• Setting up terms of credit and making sure the customer pays on time

• Negotiating repayment plans

• Supervising the collection of past-due accounts

• Stopping supplies of goods to late-paying business customers

• Starting legal action to recover debts if necessary

• Liaising with other creditors, arranging for goods to be recovered by bailiffs or dealing with liquidators if a company's assets are to be sold off



What Would the Work Environment Be Like?

Credit managers usually work in an office environment and may work long hours, which might include working during evenings or weekends on occasion. They are constantly dealing with people, including top executives and staff members in departments that develop the data they need. 


Credit managers, specifically in the commercial sector, may have to travel on occasion to visit firms or plants in order to interview prospective borrowers and assess their business operations. 


Their job can be stressful when facing pressure to meet revenue targets, or when dealing with unmotivated staff. Their job can be highly rewarding however, when they meet targets, or when they learn their work has stimulated a business, or helped a family.





Should I Become a Credit Manager?

It’s not always about ‘if you can’; whether or not you ‘should’ is of equal, if not greater importance. If the following traits, interests and attributes describe you, then a career as a credit manager might be very well suited for you:


• You can deal with frequent interruptions when working

• You enjoy directing the work of others

• You can lead and motivate a team, and make tough decisions 

• You have a keen interest in finance and accounting 

• You have tact and business acumen

• You have an aptitude for analyzing financial details and understanding financial reports

• You're interested in a career that involves working normal weekday hours

• You’re thorough and well-organized

• You’re interested in and willing to constantly educating yourself in the credit industry

• You're interested in a career that tows the line between human decision-making and bottom line requirements



How Much Do Credit Managers Make? 

The salary you could earn as a credit manager varies based on a number of factors, including: 


• Whether you work in consumer or commercial credit 

• Your education and experience level

• The size and type of your employer

• The region in which you work

• The amount of responsibility involved in your position


Credit Manager Salary Canada (Alberta figures only): According to the 2015 Alberta Wage & Salary Survey, the average salary level of Albertans working in the Credit/Loan Managers occupational group is $94,926 per year.


Credit Manager Salary United States: According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for Americans in the Financial Managers occupational group is $121,750 per year, with the lowest 10 percent earning less than $65,000, and the highest 10 percent earning more than $208,000.


Please Note: These figures also include other professionals, such as Insurance Managers, Controllers and Chief Financial Officers. 



Who Employs Them?

Credit managers are typically employed by the following types of organizations:


• Industrial corporations and wholesalers

• Large retail stores and retail chains

• Commercial lending institutions

• Banks, credit unions and trust companies

• Credit care companies

• Finance companies

• Business process outsourcing companies

• Investment firms

• Reporting agencies and credit bureaus

• Government treasury departments



Job Postings - Current Opportunities

Our job board below has a listing of "Credit Manager" postings in your area of Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom or Australia.


What Career Advancement Opportunities Will I Have?

If you demonstrate skill, determination, integrity and ambition, you’ll put yourself in a position to move into roles of greater responsibility and pay as you gain experience. 


For example, many credit managers advance to senior positions with their organizations in management, marketing or administration. Some even move on to become self-employed as consultants. 



What are Careers Similar to “Credit Manager”?

Listed below are careers that may be in the same field, or they may involve many of the same skills, competencies and/or responsibilities as “Credit Manager”:


• Bank Manager

• Chief Financial Officer (CFO)

• Collections Manager


• Credit Analyst

• Credit Counselor

• Finance Manager

• Financial Analyst



What Relevant Scholarships Are There? 

The “Majors in Our Database Relevant for this Career” section below lists fields of study that are relevant for getting the required education to work in this field. You can search for relevant scholarships by finding those majors on our "Any Field of Study Scholarships” page.


Success Tip: Be sure to apply for any scholarships that you qualify for, even if it's just because you meet 1 of the criteria, as there are millions of dollars of scholarships that go unused every year due to a lack of applicants!



Sources for This Career Guide

The following resources were used to gather information for this career path guide:


• Occupations & Education: “Credit/Loans Manager.” (n.d.). Alberta Learning Information Service (ALIS). Retrieved June 9, 2019.

• Occupational Employment Statistics: “Financial Managers.” (n.d.). United States Government Bureau of Labor Statistics. Retrieved May 25, 2017.

• Job Profiles: “Credit Manager.” (April 12, 2017). Government of England - National Careers Service website. Retrieved May 25, 2017.

• Construction Credit Blog: “Ultimate Guide To Being A Successful Credit Manager.” Scott Wolfe Junior (May 5, 2015). Zlien Blog - Retrieved May 245, 2017.



Majors in Our Database Relevant for this Career

We have career guides for over 60 university majors in our database. Below, we've outlined those that are most relevant to becoming a credit manager. Click on the links to see what else you can do with these majors!


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