There are many professions within the finance sector and it can be difficult to sift through the wide range of possible jobs and find what suits you best. Credit analysts represent one of the most sought-after financial professions in Canada. 

17 February 2023 • FED Finance • 6 min

Metier-Analyste-de-Credit

Whether you are beginning your career in the finance sector or you’re changing career paths, we have the resources to help you. Our finance recruitment firm has put together a job description explaining what you need to know about working as a credit analyst in Canada.

What does a credit analyst do?

A credit analyst is a professional working in the financial sector who specializes in the evaluation of the solvency of an individual or company. Their main responsibility is to evaluate the economic situation of borrowers to determine whether they qualify for credit or loans, and to estimate whether they will be able to repay debts.

A credit analyst must identify the level of risk incurred by the institution for which they work, i.e. a bank, a rating agency or an investment company. Due to the importance of this responsibility, they are also sometimes referred to as ‘credit risk analysts’.

Credit analysts are also responsible for providing information and regular updates to other branches of the institution they work for.

Credit analyst duties

A credit analyst will perform various duties related to the verification of a client’s financial eligibility and reliability.

Collection and analysis of financial data

The credit analyst collects and reviews the financial information of potential borrowers, including tax returns, bank statements and credit history. This balance sheet provides a picture of the client's financial status and allows for further analysis of the client's creditworthiness.

Solvency valuation

Once the investigation of bank documents is completed, the analyst evaluates the creditworthiness of the borrowers using different financial models and ratios.

The analyst can base their assessment on anything that refers to the client's behavior, including compliance and current payment patterns. They may ask questions such as: does the client have any defaults, debts, etc.?

The analyst will also look at other elements of the client's situation:

  • Whether they are a business or an individual
  • Their sector of activity
  • Their position in the market
  • Their strengths and potential weaknesses

Preparation of reports

The credit analyst prepares detailed reports of credit applications, including conclusions and recommendations related to qualifying for loans. The report is a compilation of the results of the analyst’s extensive analysis.

Negotiation of credit terms and conditions

The credit analyst can also negotiate the terms and conditions of credit with potential borrowers. They initiate the contract that binds the seller and the buyer and set the term and amount.

In addition to performing financial analysis, a credit risk analyst also acts as a mediator and protector of the credit issuer. The analyst must always strive for collaboration, with the goal of fostering a cordial agreement between both parties.

Review of ongoing credit

The credit analyst may also be responsible for monitoring ongoing or outstanding credit to ensure that borrowers are repaying loans on time. They may open and close accounts receivable and may be required to work with other departments such as billing or operations.

In short, the credit analyst is responsible for ensuring the safety of their organization's credit portfolio by conducting a thorough analysis of credit applications and recommending sound lending decisions. The earlier they are involved in this process, the better they will be able to protect the institution from any future problems.

Credit analyst skills and qualities

Being a credit analyst requires specific personal qualities and various acquired skills. To pursue this career, you will need a thorough knowledge of economics, jurisdiction, taxation and accounting.

You will also need relevant computer and office skills, to manage files efficiently. Employers highly appreciate mastery of tools such as SAP, and an advanced working knowledge of Excel is indispensable.

Beyond these more technical aspects, a credit analyst will need certain personal qualities. An analyst is responsible for making objective and clear-cut decisions based on a rigorous study of client files. This objectivity requires prioritizing budgetary aspects and stepping back from the human element. A credit analyst needs to be impartial and keep the company's interests at heart.

It is important to be meticulous and precise when writing reports, accurately and consistently noting missing information or errors within every detail of the document.

In most job ads, bilingualism (English and French) is required, or at least an excellent command of both languages. This is especially important if you would like to work for a large company.

How to become a credit analyst in Quebec

Like a financial analyst, a credit analyst needs a diploma in finance or accounting. A DEC in one of these fields, or in law, is a basic requirement.

It helps to be a CPA (Chartered Professional Accountant) or have a CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) designation as well. The latter is highly respected in the field of finance, both from both within Canada and internationally. Such qualification provides you with a high level of expertise and will help you negotiate a salary.

Credit analyst career advancement opportunities

A credit analyst can expect to be presented with a variety of new opportunities as their career advances. Following a few years of work experience, a credit analyst could find themselves managing more demanding files and larger accounts. They could also progress to a higher position within their institution or even work in a different field, such as branch management, corporate client management, corporate banking or inspection.

Credit analyst salary in Quebec

In Montreal, Quebec, a credit analyst’s annual salary is estimated at around $55,000. This number can be higher depending on seniority, experience, and the size of the company for which the analyst works.

Find a job as a credit analyst in Quebec

Now that you know more about what it means to be a credit analyst, you may be ready to pursue a career in this field. If you need assistance, remember that the Fed Finance team can support you in your search for a finance job in Montreal.

Contact our recruiters to discover the various offers on the market or for other guidance.