Credit and Loans Officer
What does a person in this occupation do?
A Loan Officer assists prospective clients in applying for loans and in determining the type and amount of loan that is most suitable for their needs. The Loan Officer also assesses the creditworthiness of loan applicants, judging their suitability as borrowers and the precise terms on which credit may be granted to them. A Consumer Loans Officer is most likely to work set hours from a fixed location like a bank branch or office. A Commercial or Mortgage Loan Officer often has to work variable hours to confer with clients at their places of work or residence, and thus spends significant time out of the office and on the road. The Credit and Loans Officer is primarily concerned with the following:
- meeting client needs for credit, reviewing client creditworthiness and facilitating the process once an application is approved
- Interviewing applicants for personal, mortgage, student and business loans.
- Explaining to customers the different types of loans and credit options that are available, as well as the terms of those services.
- Completing credit and loan documentation.
- Researching and evaluating loan applicant’s financial status, references, credit and ability to repay the loan.
- Approving or rejecting loan applications within authorised limits ensuring that credit standards of the institution are respected, and/or submitting credit and loan applications to management with recommendations for approval or rejection.
- Keeping records of payments, and preparing routine letters requesting payment for overdue accounts and forwarding these for legal action.
- Staying abreast of new types of loans and other financial services and products to better meet customers’ needs.
Individuals are not technically regulated, however the institutions they work for are regulated as follows:
- The FSB is an independent institution, established by statute to oversee the South African non-banking financial services industry in the public interest, and fully funded by fees and levies imposed on this industry.
- The National Credit Regulator (NCR) is responsible for the regulation of the South African credit industry. The NCR is tasked with registering credit providers, credit bureaux and debt counsellors.
- The Micro Finance Regulatory Council is a private, non-profit body orginally set up to regulate the micro-lending industry and protect the interests of consumers. Many of its functions and responsibilities now fall under the National Credit Regulator (see above)
- Exceptional communication and interpersonal skills
- Being able to deal professionally with credit applicants, especially those whose applications are declined
- The ability to deal compassionately but firmly with defaulters
- Able to prospect for new clients whilst under pressure to perform
- A team player
- Ability to be gracious in difficult circumstances
- Strong work ethic
Institutions that provide credit or loans can set their own entry requirements for this occupation. Work experience in the sector, combined with employer-provided training in the form of courses or skills programs and on-the-job training, can allow you to progress to becoming a Credit or Loans Officer. A number of learnerships are also available that can provide you with formal qualifications relevant to this occupation. With a Matric Certificate or NQF Level 2 qualification you can enter the learnership in Micro Lending Front Line Service Level 3. With a Grade 11 or NQF Level 3 qualification, you can enter one of the following three learnerships:
- Learnership in Introduction to Micro Finance Supervision and Management Level 4
- Learnership in Banking: Credit Analysis Level 4
- Learnership in Banking: Credit Risk Analysis Level 4
To complete the Advanced Certificate in Micro Finance you need a National Senior Certificate.
- Various Businesses
- Banks and Building societies
- Finance houses
- Departmental Stores
- Retail Companies
- Home Loans Financing Companies