Commercial Credit Analyst Career Path

I am an undergraduate finance major. I am heavily interested in becoming a commercial loan credit analyst. Is it possible to get an entry level job in the commercial credit loan industry? If not, would starting off as a consumer loan credit analyst be a good start or should I go into corporate finance entry level? Do I have to get an MBA in order to get the job? If you have any other career path information let me know.

Comments (23)

Jan 28, 2018 - 10:01pm

Hi dhk413, no, I never sleep and so I can respond to any lonely threads (like this one) at all hours of the night. Impressive, I know ;-)

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  • AMA: Credit Underwriter at Commercial Auto Finance Company CAREER PATHS: 1.) There are several departments within the Commercial Credit division of the business. ... also entry-level analysts on the Business Development side in commercial credit, formally referred to ... BACKGROUND: 1.) Recent grad. Started as a credit analyst and moved to an Underwriter/Underwriting Analyst ...
  • Commercial Bank Credit Analyst vs. Spring Recruiting post MBA at this point) I'm pretty worried that credit analyst/RM in commercial banking is going ... Friends, I have a second round phone interview with a big brand commercial bank for a credit ... place well?)-Exit Ops-Long-term career attractiveness for credit analyst/relationship manager (would ...
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  • Commercial/Corporate Credit Analyst Career Development anything that is awful and that I should avoid? Commercial Analyst Commercial Banking middle market lending ... courses. As a third year analyst looking to jump from the lower middle market space to upper MM / corporate ...
  • More suggestions...

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Mar 8, 2018 - 5:30pm

It is very possible to get an entry level job in the commercial credit loan industry. You don't need an MBA (though it could help you get your foot in the door for an interview), but you do need to be prepared to discuss the balance sheet, income statement, and cash flow of companies in the industry of the analyst job for which you are applying. More and more I see commercial credit analysts coming in for interviews with an MBA in Finance. Companies prefer MBA in Finance, but from my experience, an MS in Accounting is more useful. Starting off as a consumer loan credit analyst would not help much other than if you want to transition into a commercial credit analyst position where the loan facilities rely on individual guarantor/owner support. Also, you should determine which level of companies you would like to work with. Business banking, commercial banking, middle market banking, or corporate banking (very competitive). These classifications are determined by annual company revenues but the thresholds for classification can vary by bank. In some commercial banking roles, the analyst will be encouraged/required to move into a relationship management role, so you'll want to ask about this in your interviews. Some banks will allow you to stay in credit/underwriting and move up the ranks as an associate/AVP, to VP and other senior officer positions which come with increasing account responsibility. My understanding is that Corporate Finance is very different from Commercial Credit Underwriting, so you'll want to understand the differences of those as well and what the career trajectories are for each.

Mar 13, 2018 - 3:45am


I am an undergraduate finance major. I am heavily interested in becoming a commercial loan credit analyst. Is it possible to get an entry level job in the commercial credit loan industry? If not, would starting off as a consumer loan credit analyst be a good start or should I go into corporate finance entry level? Do I have to get an MBA in order to get the job? If you have any other career path information let me know.

FWIW in my first year out of uni I worked in credit lending at a major Australian bank. Not sure if you're in Australia/the US/elsewhere so can't speak to the other countries, but in Australia there is a split between SME/Commercial/Corporate lending based on debt/revenues sizes for borrowers and there are huge differences in the type of work you'll be doing in these different segments.

At the lower level (SME) you are a glorified policy monkey. Bank lending at this level (EBITDA ratio?" etc). I would expect some basic past experience/internships would be required however you could differentiate yourself in other ways.

Why are you so interested in working in credit? Even in my one year in Corporate Debt I was starting to feel typecast as a credit analyst so I'd potentially look at other options if it's not something you want to be doing long term.

Mar 13, 2018 - 3:46am

Commercial Credit Analyst (Originally Posted: 11/30/2017)

I am in the process of finding my first job out of college. To give you some background, I had an internship last summer as an analyst at a boutique bank. I just got accepted for a Commercial Credit Analyst position. I like the position but havent given up on searching for an analyst position at an investment bank. A lot of the BB banks have already hired next years analysts so my only option would be to find a smaller bank. But the clock is ticking. Is a Commercial Credit Analyst a valued enough position to eventually lead into investment banking or would it close a lot of future doors?

Nov 30, 2018 - 5:04pm

Some things you should practice to really make you stand out are as follows:
Reading a personal tax return, including digging deeper into schedule E,C as well as the schedules.
Look into S corp tax returns as these tend to be tricky, in the sense that it is a pass through entity. Practice reconciling the front page income statement to GAAP through using the m-1 and schedule K information and learning about the section 179 deduction as well as various tax laws. THE BIGGEST THING and a way to impress in an interview is knowing that companies under x amount of revenue(think 10 millions) do not use accrual accounting on a tax return, meaning that revenue from incomplete contracts and expenses are not included as well as the corresponding balance sheet items.

Just practice, google tax return example packets and throw together some financials. Know Loan to Cost and Loan to Value calculations as well as leverage ratios and working capital. Practice Cross Aging receivables and calculating borrowing power. USE UCA CASHFLOW instead of traditional cash flow and EBITDA, I use all three in some way, but UCA is the biggest as it gives the entire picture as well as financing need as a deficit.
I would recommend researching all of these topics, as on my first ever interview I got killed, this is not stuff you learn in college.

Mar 13, 2018 - 3:52am

Newbie aspiring commercial credit analyst (Originally Posted: 06/19/2017)

Hello, I am one year from graduating a decent business school with an ok GPA, working as a teller for a big bank. My ideal job right out of school is at regional headquarters of my same bank about 20 minutes away, as a commercial credit analyst. A friend of mine just got hired to the former analyst position and I know they will be taking one more in the next year, so I am gearing up for that and other potential interviews. I have also looked at compliance consulting, but that position is with another company. They say that my teller experience makes me a unique candidate to help banks with regulatory/compliance issues. I'm not well informed on the salaries of either of these positions out of school.

Any advice is welcome!

Mar 13, 2018 - 3:54am

I just got hired straight out of College as a Commercial Credit Analyst. I am making 55k right now.

I prob could have gotten more had I negotiated but thought it was an okay offer after researching and given the high level of opportunity to advance within the company. I'd say 50-70k is a reasonable salary depending on what company you're aiming for and how much experience you have.

But also curious to know how much entry level credit analyst hired straight out of college make.

Best Response
Mar 13, 2018 - 3:55am
  1. Know Excel

  2. When you get in, memorize by heart your divisions policy.

  3. Know the deals that you are assigned to. (What do they do, how do they do it, how do they bill/collect, WHY is this loan what they need)

  4. Know modeling.

  5. Read the loan docs/underwriting. If you ever have a question, don't ask anyone anything before you read them.

I'm a first year analyst going on 2 years at a very small but rapidly growing bank and that advice would have saved my credibility a thousand times over.

  • 3
Mar 13, 2018 - 3:56am

Commercial/Corporate Credit Analyst Career Development (Originally Posted: 10/20/2016)

I have basically been handed a blank check (within reason) by my company to do some continuing ed courses. As a third year analyst looking to jump from the lower middle market space to upper MM/corporate finance, are there any courses/programs/overnights that would look particularly good on the Resume? Or anything that is awful and that I should avoid?

Mar 13, 2018 - 3:58am

Training the Street is great, cost is $5k for a week.

The last act is tragic, however happy all the rest of the play is; at the last a little earth is thrown upon our head, and that is the end for ever.
  • 1
Mar 13, 2018 - 3:59am

That is awesome does and MBA count, or maybe some extension school? huahuahua.

I know there are some online courses on sites like EDX, and Coursera that cost maybe a few hundred each. Since they are cheap, self paced, and you will have content available for life (presumably) these online courses could be a great ADD-ON to any other program.

You should try a seminar type thing to get you the benefit of networking. You could also try for the CFA?

**How is my grammar? Drop me a note with any errors you see!**
  • 1
Mar 13, 2018 - 4:01am

So my company does offer tuition reimbursement, but you basically have to sign a contract stating you'll be there for "x" more years upon graduation, which kind of defeats the purpose (this was the first thing I asked my bosses about). Ive found some stuff online like you mentioned in your second paragraph, which all look great and I'm sure will be good for me personally, but I'm not sure/more concerned with what is considered more valuable to a perspective employer.

Mar 13, 2018 - 4:02am

Why don't you try moving the thread out of the "other industries" to the "corporate finance" forum, it would probably get a lot more views there, and potential more relevant responses.

**How is my grammar? Drop me a note with any errors you see!**
Nov 30, 2018 - 12:00pm

Here is my experience. I went to a big ten business school (think Madison, Minnesota, Michigan) I had done various internships in corporate and international finance and upon graduation had various offers in corporate finance as an entry level analyst. However, with an ultimate goal of going into private equity, I turned toward commercial banking as a good first step (since coming from a non-target).

You can definitely become an entry level commercial credit analyst, to which I would suggest instead of starting in retail. I would not suggest going the MBA route immediately as, the reason for giving my background, I had a few interviewers tell me I was OVERQUALIFIED, and I would assume that the same would go for an MBA. I would suggest starting in a community bank, something smaller, as you get a good grasp of all facets of the commercial lending industry and they take people lesser experience as long as you show drive, They very well make you do writing prompts and analysis, spread financials and do various cash flow models (UCA, Traditional, EBITDA) So make sure to study up and good luck!

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