What Does a Credit Supervisor Do?

Lainie Petersen

A credit supervisor works in the areas of credit and collections and supervises one or more employees as they process credit applications, provide credit services to customers, or manage delinquent customer accounts. In some cases, the credit supervisor may have decision-making powers that can include granting credit, determining or reevaluating credit limits, and determining how to handle overdue account collection. The supervisor may also monitor the activities of his or her employees in order to ensure that the employees are in compliance with company policy and, in some cases, debt collection law. Some companies may also use the term “credit supervisor" to describe an individual who will oversee efforts on the part of the company to attract new consumer credit card applicants.

Credit supervisors may oversee employees who process applications for credit.
Credit supervisors may oversee employees who process applications for credit.

Many companies issue credit to customers and clients as a part of their business strategy. By allowing businesses and individuals to purchase goods and services and pay for them later, they can increase business and revenues. The downside, however, to issuing credit is that it is possible for a client or customer to use his or her credit to obtain goods and services and then fail to make agreed-upon payments. It is the work of a credit department to first determine the credit worthiness of any individual or business that applies for credit.

A credit supervisor may take responsibility for obtaining a commercial or consumer credit report and evaluating it against his or her employer's standards for credit. He or she may also contact a credit applicant's references or may instruct a subordinate to do so. In some cases, a credit supervisor may have the authority to actually grant credit or determine a credit line, although in some cases a credit supervisor may have to refer an application to a credit manager for more careful consideration, particularly if the client is asking for a very high limit.

In situations where a client or customer does not make payments on his or her account as agreed, the credit supervisor may have to begin collection activity against the client. Initially, this may take the form of calls or letters sent by the credit supervisor's subordinates. Eventually, however, the supervisor may need to become directly involved in the collection process by either contacting the client or customer directly or by making a decision to reduce a credit line, change payment terms, or even cancel a client's credit privileges altogether. These decisions may be made after working with the supervisor's manager as well as other employees, including the account executive or sales representative who services a commercial debtor's account.

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