What are the Top Credit Analyst Certifications?
If you’re considering a career as a credit analyst, or are already working as one, having a professional accreditation can be a big boost to your career, and more specifically, your ability to quickly move up the ladder. This article will provide an overview of each of the top credit analyst certifications and accreditation for new or experienced professionals who want to move up the ladder in business banking, commercial banking, corporate banking, and other areas of credit analysis.
List of the Top Finance Certifications:
- Certified Credit and Risk Analyst (CCRA) from NACM
- Credit Risk Certification (CRC) from RMA
- Certified Credit Professional (CCP) from CIC
- Commercial Banking & Credit Analyst (CBCA) from CFI
Certified Credit and Risk Analyst® (CCRA)
The CCRA certification is governed by the National Association of Credit Management (NACM) and focuses on the interpretation and analysis of financial statements and the skills required to evaluate and make recommendations about credit opportunities. In order to earn the certification, candidates must demonstrate mastery of the content from three courses: (1) financial accounting, (2) financial statement analysis, and (3) credit and risk assessment. Course #3 on credit and risk assessment serves as the final exam for the entire designation.
NACM has been around since 1896 and is committed to promoting good credit, which means looking out for businesses (borrowers), credit analysts (professionals) and lenders.
Completing the credit analyst certification program requires taking an in-person course at NACM’s national headquarters or at the credit congress expo event.
Credit Risk Certification (CRC)
The Credit Risk Certification (CRC) is offered by the Risk Management Association (RMA). In order to complete the program, professionals need to have at least three years of experience working with credit risk. Key concepts covered in the accreditation include: assessing an industry, evaluating a management team, analyzing financial statements, measuring/calculating cash flow, understanding collateral, identifying risks, and managing clients.
The program offers a very comprehensive curriculum that teaches important aspects of credit analysis.
The CRC requires at least 3 years of credit experience, so recent graduates will be unable to earn this certification without experience (and professional experience can be hard to get without a certification).
Certified Credit Professional (CCP)
The Certified Credit Professional (CCP) program covers a broad curriculum that includes preparing analysts to be able to oversee a credit team that covers individual consumers, the construction industry, merchants, international, and other types of credit. The curriculum is designed to be self-study (textbooks) and also incorporates online learning modules. Students have up to 7 years to finish the program, but some finish it in as little as 2-3 years.
This program is comprehensive in the material it covers and the pass rate is ~70%.
The CCP requires candidates to have 5+ years of industry experience to earn the certification and the cost is ~$3,000.
Commercial Banking & Credit Analyst (CBCA)
A brand new and popular option for credit analyst professionals is to earn a credit analyst certification from the Corporate Finance Institute® (CFI). Courses cover topics that cover the ‘5 C’s of Credit‘, evaluating a business plan, assessing management teams, cash flow cycles, risk assessment, and more. The full Commercial Banking & Credit Analyst (CBCA) Program at CFI is an affordable investment, starting at $497, and comes with over 17 courses and more than 50 hours of video instruction.
The CBCA teaches a comprehensive overview of credit analysis, constructed by experienced credit professionals. Students of the CBCA program learn the material at their own pace and take the examination online to suit their convenience. Candidates require zero work experience to pursue the program, adding valuable credibility to an individual’s track record. The targeted pass rate is approximately 70%.
The course content is accessed online which requires an Internet connection and a suitable electronic device to view and watch the lecture videos. A self-paced program may not be preferred by everyone as some individuals work better with deadlines.
The most practical credit analysis skills gained from this certification include:
- Fundamentals of Credit
- Evaluating a Business Plan
- Assessing Management
- Cash Flow Cycles and Analysis
- Loan Security
- Loan Covenants
- Credit Administration and Documentation
- Account Monitoring and Warning Signs
- Completing a Credit Application
Compare the Designations
Below is a comparison table of various criteria including timing, cost, duration, and focus for each of the four financial designations.
|Pass Rate||Not available||Not available||70%||70%|
|Content Focus||Accounting, Financial Statements, Risk and Credit||Industry, Strategies, Balance Sheets, Cash Flow, Collateral, Documentation||Credit Management, Canadian Law, Business Communication||Financial Analysis, Management Assessment, Industry Analysis, Risk, etc|
|Career Application||Credit Analysts||Credit Analysts||Credit Analysts||Credit Analysts|
|Completion Time||Not available||Not available||2-3 years||<1 year|
|Work Experience||1,500 hours||3 years||5 years||None|
The above table was prepared without prejudice, from publicly available information on each designation’s website.
More Credit Analyst Certification Resources
CFI is on a mission to help you advance your career. That means providing all the tools, training, and templates you need to be a world-class financial analyst. CFI courses will give you the ability to distill large amounts of complex information into clear takeaways and recommendations; you’ll have the confidence you need to rise through the ranks.
In addition to the credit analyst certifications listed above, CFI also has many free resources to help you in your journey to become a certified credit analyst. CFI’s most popular free resources include: