Credit assistants are responsible for performing credit checks, reviews and requests for customers. In addition to processing credit applications, they must collect past due payments, establish credit lines, set credit limits and resolve customer issues related to their accounts and eligibility for products and services. Other duties of a credit assistant include recording and entering customer data into electronic databases and answering general credit inquiries.
A high school diploma is required for a credit assistant position, along with at least one year of experience providing credit and collections services. Some employers prefer a bachelor's degree or may require that candidates have completed college coursework in accounting or finance. Credit assistants usually receive on the job training.
Credit assistants should have strong organizational, multi-tasking and problem-solving skills. Because credit assistants interact with customers and external vendors on a daily basis, they should know proper telephone etiquette and handle different personalities well. Candidates must also have a basic knowledge of computer applications such as Microsoft Word and Excel.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts slower than average growth for credit authorizer, checker and clerk positions over the next decade. In addition, employment for the profession is projected to grow by 3 percent. However, the BLS reports that job prospects should be positive due to the need to replace current workers who are exiting the field or transitioning to supervisory roles.
According to the BLS, the median salary for credit authorizer, checker and clerk positions was $30,390 as of May 2008. Salaries for credit assistants differ based on industry, experience and location. For example, a SalaryExpert report comparing the annual wages of credit assistants across 10 different cities lists salaries ranging from $28,835 to $39,151.