CareerExplorer’s step-by-step guide on how to become a credit analyst.

Step 1

Is becoming a credit analyst right for me?

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The first step to choosing a career is to make sure you are actually willing to commit to pursing the career. You don’t want to waste your time doing something you don’t want to do. If you’re new here, you should read about:

What do credit analysts do?
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Are credit analysts happy with their careers?
What are credit analysts like?

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Frequently Asked Questions

How to become a Credit Analyst

At the very minimum, a career as a credit analyst requires a four-year degree in finance, but related business bachelor degrees may work as well. As alluded to previously, the scale of a credit analyst's work environment determines the amount of education required. The best colleges in North America for a career as a credit analyst include the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Chicago, and New York University.

Credit analysts are stratified further into buy-side and sell-side analysts. The job requirements of a buy-side credit analyst are much more complex than college graduates may realize. For instance, it is not uncommon for buy-side credit analysts to work with institutional investors such as hedge fund managers and global non-profit organizations. The sheer scope of these institutions means their credit analysts require at the very least an advanced degree along with many years of hands-on experience in the finance industry.

The ability to analyze mathematical information objectively is the most important quality a credit analyst can possess. Financial analysis is an inexact science. The day-to-day and even hour-to-hour fluctuations in financial markets can change the outcome of even the most thorough analysis. High-level organizational skills allow credit analysts to cope with these swings in the market.

From a sell-side perspective, credit analysts assist companies and investors in the sale of financial instruments by making immediate, on-the-spot recommendations. The ability to multi-task is a crucial quality sell-side credit analysts must possess in order to have a lucrative, successful career.