As a Credit Manager you will be responsible for the departments and systems that minimise the risk of selling goods and services on credit. You will aim to keep a good cash flow for their organisation. You might work for a wide range of businesses, although your customers could be individuals or companies.
Also known as
- Finance Manager (Credit)
There are two main areas of credit you could focus on: trade credit and consumer credit.
Trade credit operates when two companies do business together, that is, when one sells to the other. The seller usually grants credit terms to the buyer. This means that the buyer does not have to pay for the goods/services immediately.
Your job here will be to make sure that credit is only granted to companies who can and will pay. You'll set up systems to show when payment is due; you then monitor the payment process, to ensure smooth cash flow for the business or individual you are working for.
Consumer credit applies when an individual takes on a debt, for example, in order to buy a new car. Credit terms are then arranged, allowing the customer to pay off the purchase price in instalments.
You will assess the creditworthiness of the customer (can they afford it?) and then decide whether or not to grant credit. You might visit a company applying for a large amount of credit in order to decide if a contract should be agreed. If the customer is granted credit, you will monitor the progress of repayments.
If either trade or consumer customers fail to make repayments, a process of issuing reminders is required. If the customer still fails to pay, legal action is taken.
In larger companies, you might be responsible for a team of credit control staff who carry out the day-to-day credit activities. You will be responsible for strategy and policy making, staff supervision and training, problem solving and reporting to senior management. It will be down to you to make sure that the company has strong financial controls in place so that credit can be managed effectively.
Some Credit Managers specialise in export credit, dealing with business customers in other countries.
Being able to read, write and speak Welsh may be an advantage when you’re looking for work in Wales.
Personal Qualities and Skills
To become a Credit Manager, you will need:
- commercial awareness
- a good knowledge of business law and accounts
- strategic planning ability
- good numeracy and communication skills
- tact and diplomacy
- leadership, decision-making, planning and supervisory skills
- IT and report-writing skills
You might need a full driving licence. The ability to speak a foreign language could be useful in companies that sell their goods or services abroad.
Pay and Opportunities
The pay rates given below are approximate.
- Starting: £26,000 - £30,000
- With experience: £33,500 - £41,000
- Senior Credit Managers earn £45,000 - £51,500
Additional benefits will often include a bonus and company car or car allowance.
Hours of work
Credit managers usually work 35 to 40 hours, Monday to Friday, but are often required to be flexible and work longer hours, especially during busy times.
Where could I work?
Employment is in almost every type of business in industry and commerce.
Opportunities for Credit Managers occur in towns and cities throughout the UK.
Where are vacancies advertised?
Vacancies are advertised in local/national newspapers, on job boards, on Find a Job and at Jobcentre Plus.
Entry Routes and Training
In order to get into credit management you must have previous experience in credit control.
A good place to start is studying for an Institute of Financial Services (IFS) level 3 diploma in financial studies. You will need to find a college that offers this subject.
An Advanced Level or Degree Apprenticeship is also great place to start. Take a look at our article
On-the-job training is combined with study for the Institute of Credit Management's (ICM) qualifications. There are three main qualifications:
- the level 2 certificate
- the level 3 diploma in credit management
- the level 5 diploma in credit management (the ICM's Graduate Programme)
You might be able to get exemptions from some of the exams if you already have certain relevant qualifications.
The level 2 certificate includes units in negotiating and credit risk assessment. Units at Level 2 are assessed by work-based assignment.
In addition to credit management principles, the level 3 diploma includes units on accounting, economics and business law. Assessment of these units is by exam.
The level 5 diploma includes units on risk management, business strategy, leadership, and legal proceedings and insolvency.
The qualifications can be studied in a number of ways, including part-time at a learning centre (details are available on the ICM website), in a virtual classroom through the web, or by supported distance learning.
Full-time and part-time foundation degrees are available in business and finance subjects.
The University of West London offers the part-time foundation degree in credit management for people already employed in the credit sector. The foundation degree follows the ICM syllabus closely, with the addition of management decision-making and financial analysis modules.
The University of West London also offers level 5 diploma and foundation degree holders the chance to progress to a part-time top-up to the BA honours degree in credit management.
Credit Managers can progress by taking on more responsibility or by moving to bigger organisations. Some might progress to senior financial management or Director positions.
Rehabilitation of Offenders Act
Working as a credit manager can be an exception to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974, if the post holder is an Approved Person.
This means that you must supply information to an employer about any spent or unspent convictions, cautions, reprimands or warnings, if they ask you to. This is different from other careers, where you only have to reveal information on unspent convictions if you are asked to.
The Institute of Credit Management does not have a minimum entry requirement for the level 2 certificate/level 3 diploma. Entrants to credit management must have relevant experience.
Some people enter credit careers as graduates. For entry to a degree course in any subject, the usual minimum requirement is:
- 2/3 A levels
- GCSEs at grade C/4 or above in 2/3 other subjects
Alternatives to A levels include:
- BTEC level 3 qualifications
- the International Baccalaureate Diploma
However, course requirements vary so check prospectuses carefully.
To get onto an Advanced Level Apprenticeship, you'll usually need 5 GCSEs at grade C/4 or above, including English and maths, or to have completed an Intermediate Level Apprenticeship.
To get onto a Degree Apprenticeship, you will usually need at least 2 A levels.
UCAS tariff points from the ifs certificate or diploma in financial studies might be accepted by some institutions in combination with other qualifications.
Some universities accept the Welsh Baccalaureate as equivalent to 1 A level.
It is illegal for any organisation to set age limits for entry to employment, education or training, unless they can show there is a real need to have these limits.
Some new entrants have developed skills by working in banking, insurance, building society or accounting work, for example, as a credit controller, book-keeper or accounting technician.
If you don't have the qualifications needed to enter your chosen degree or HND course, a college or university Access course (for example, Access to Business) could be the way in. These courses are designed for people who have not followed the usual routes into higher education. No formal qualifications are usually needed, but you should check this with individual colleges.
Candidates without formal qualifications can register as students with the Institute of Credit Management (ICM).
The ICM Diplomas offer qualifications in Credit Management at Levels 2, 3 and 5 that can be studied by distance learning or at evening classes. Further details are on the ICM website.
Publisher: Financial Skills Partnership (FSP)
Address: 51 Gresham Street, London EC2V 7HQ
Tel: 0845 2573772
Financial Skills Partnership (FSP)
Skills for the financial, finance and accountancy sectors
Address: 51 Gresham Street, London EC2V 7HQ
Tel: 0845 2573772
London Institute of Banking and Finance
Address: 8th Floor, Peninsular House, 36 Monument Street, London EC3R 8LJ
Tel: 020 7444 7111
Jobs in Credit
Publisher: Incisive Media
Institute of Credit Management (ICM)
Address: The Water Mill, Station Road, South Luffenham, Leics LE15 8NB
Tel: 01780 722900
Careers Wales - Welsh Apprenticeships
Tel: 0800 028 4844
People Exchange Cymru (PEC)
Public sector recruitment portal for Wales