Zions Bank, California Bank & Trust...Credit Analyst

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cd in Tampa, Florida

76 months ago

Comercial credit underwriting is a completely different animal than mortgage underwriting. It is much more in depth and subjective. You have to understand accounting and business cash flows as well as business/economic trends and collateral quality. You have to underwrite the company as well as their financials, and possibly anyone who does business with that company. I was hiring a credit analyst a few months ago and received dozens of resume's from mortgage underwriters out of work. I felt a little bad for them, but they just didn't have the experience I needed. Formal commercial credit training is a real plus when looking at candidates.

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joe in American Canyon, California

76 months ago

cd in Tampa, Florida said: Comercial credit underwriting is a completely different animal than mortgage underwriting. It is much more in depth and subjective. You have to understand accounting and business cash flows as well as business/economic trends and collateral quality. You have to underwrite the company as well as their financials, and possibly anyone who does business with that company. I was hiring a credit analyst a few months ago and received dozens of resume's from mortgage underwriters out of work. I felt a little bad for them, but they just didn't have the experience I needed. Formal commercial credit training is a real plus when looking at candidates.

I agree with you to a point. . I'm underwriting group medical which deals with financials,cashflows, gains/ drains. My problem is too many times commercial acts as though no one else can do the job effectively other then a Phd which is a very bad attitude to have. Commercial underwriting is different but it can be taught. And look at the premium in salary you save by hiring someone willing to take a large pay cut just to learn & expand their knowledge. How does one get hired in commercial unless commercial is willing to look outisde the box? All underwriting follows a basic scientific/ mathmatic foundation & structure therefore it doesn't take a special degree such as being a doctor or lawyer. Underwriters tend to have an overinflated sense of self worth in regards to their position & nowhere do I see it more evident than in Commercial Underwriting. Sorry if I sound bitter but commercials going to have to wake up some day & realize there's tons of good U/W out there & they don't have to be so fraternal.

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cd in Tampa, Florida

76 months ago

I agree it can be fraternal, imagine what it was like for a woman with no degree? I got my feet wet at a non profit where they were able and willing to give a newbie a chance...unfortunately, in teh current climate, no on has time to train, and banks don't have the credit trainig programs they used to. It seems that your backgound is a bit different than the typical mortgage underwriter looking to go commercial....
The thing about commercial is that it does goes beyond the basic scientific/mathmatic principles and relies on industry knowldege, risk, economic and social trends, and it is subjective to each particular bank's objectives as well as the people behind the company borrowing money. There are so many variables which can only be mastered with experience. I know that is tough to swallow when you can't get started to get that experience. Things have changed recently with the demise of in bank credit training, so banks now look for candidates who have been trained by someone else. It is a vicious circle. There will be banks and non profits (think economic development, small business) who will be staffed up and not buried who are willing and able to bring someone in to be trained...it might take some time to find, but I think they are still out there. I was in a position where I had just been promoted to Credit Manager and I could not do both new and old jobs for long, so I needed someone who could jump in and start producing right away, and this will be the case in many situations, but not all. I wish you luck in your search.....I think your perseverance will pay off.

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Oceans11 in Aliso Viejo, California

76 months ago

Thanks I appreciate your input! That's definitely a way to go (non profit) & I'll look into that. Yes, it is extremely frustrating but like I said before, I believe all underwriting has a foundation, maybe what I was truly trying to say is that you're either an underwriter or your not. Kind of like you're either a salesman or your not. If you are a true bona fied underwriter & that is your career path then I think it can be taught given the right environment. Mortgage underwriters aren't geniuses by any stretch of the imagination but we're not on the bottom of the todem pole either when it comes to credit analyzation.

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Ace in Washington, District of Columbia

75 months ago

You can also back your way in as an entry-level credit analyst in your small regional banks. These positions are not readily available and you will take a huge pay-cut but a good way to get your foot in the door..

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carol in Tampa, Florida

75 months ago

I manage a credit department at a community bank, and I can tell you, we don't have time for entry level......we have limited staffing resources and have to hire experienced analysts to get the most productivity. I believe the larger banks have the budget and size which allows them to bring on a mix of entry level and experienced staff.

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Oceans11 in Aliso Viejo, California

75 months ago

That's funny I think both Ace & Carol are correct in many ways. It's a dilemma the banking/finance/mortgage lending world had always struggled with for years. Either you lack the money to pay & train new hires or you're way to busy & don't have the time.

Although, I can't see in this day & age being "too busy" falls into play. If your company is too busy now what happens during the time of booms & then you must be REALLY short staffed.

This is why talent pools dwindle in our sectors because you have too many companies who aren't willing to train, they just think good underwriters or analyst just spring out from thin air. This is already being seen in the FHA mortgage market, ads are up for weeks on end for DE certified underwriters but no one wants to make the investment to train they just want the talent with designations to be there. Desperation then sinks in for these companies & the limited talent pool that's left gets poor training which is even worse!

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Oceans11 in Aliso Viejo, California

75 months ago

Good grief! Wouldn't you know it I just got another one of those automatic turn downs from CBT/Zions Bank. That's about 8 in a row turned down from them!! I have 10+ years underwriting/ credit analyst experience & now I'm even underwriting group medical insurance.

Is it just because I lack a college degree?? That's ridiculous! So a green pea with 4 yr degree is worth more than 10+ years in the industry?

That unto itself is just bad underwriting & lacks common sense!!

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carol in Tampa, Florida

75 months ago

I agree that a college degree is not neccesarily required, but do you have any experience in commercial creit underwriting? Not mortgage underwriting, not health insurance underwriting - commercial credit underwriting....it's been said before, but many prior mortgage underwriters do not believe it-you can be the best mortgage underwriter ever but still not be qualified to underwrite commercial credit. I constantly turn away mortgage people looking to get into commercial; I can't afford to bring on someone who needs training. I would always choose experience over education, but it has to be relevent experience. When you underwrite a mortgage deal, you are underwriting a person's ability to pay back a mortgage, and the property they are purchasing. When you underwrite a commercial deal, you are underwriting an industry, a local economy, a guarantor, a company as well as a cash flow, liquidity ratios, risk and repayment sources. It is completely different. You may have to underwrite an income producing property using proformas, you may have to create cash flow projections, you may have to weigh the risk of a commercial construction deal....these things are not learned underwriting mortgages. I know it's frustrating and I'm sorry, but they are different jobs requiring different skillsets.

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Oceans11 in Aliso Viejo, California

75 months ago

They are absolutely different skill sets & that cannot be argued but once again people are putting one job so high above on the food chain as though only mighty Zeus himself can only do the job. I'll say it again, underwriters themselves have a high opinion of their jobs skills & it gets worse & worse the higher up the proverbial underwriter food chain you go.

My point is, is that being a commercial underwriter can be taught. Because the ones you decide to hire had to get their skill sets somewhere.....right? They didn't just appear out of thin air, no one anointed them right? It's this attitude that commercial underwriting is some skill that is so beyond the comprehension of I guess us feeble minded slack jawed mortgage underwriters that's frustrating.

By the way group medical underwriting deals with trending, expenses, company financials, stop loss, actuarial mathematics, law of large numbers, demographics by age & sex, profit & loss & their triggers during a fiscal year. You see, commercial isn't the only big boy on the block when it comes to knowledge. Also, from my research Marine Underwriting has the largest difficulty curve amongst them all.

Just my 2 cents but thanks for your advise I do appreciate it.

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Oceans11 in Aliso Viejo, California

74 months ago

Application #10 Turned down by Zions Bank!!

I no longer believe it's Zions that's turning my resume's down as much as I believe now it's that dreaded Kenexa Recruiter. I don't know if it runs through a filter or not but although there's NEVER a requirement from Zions or Ca Bank & Trust to have a degree I believe this is one of the filters used through Kenexa & if you dont have one you just get an auto decline within 30 days.

That's BS!! They won't take some time to look at the individuals history.

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pk in El Cajon, California

73 months ago

Oceans11 in Aliso Viejo, California said: Application #10 Turned down by Zions Bank!!

I no longer believe it's Zions that's turning my resume's down as much as I believe now it's that dreaded Kenexa Recruiter. I don't know if it runs through a filter or not but although there's NEVER a requirement from Zions or Ca Bank & Trust to have a degree I believe this is one of the filters used through Kenexa & if you dont have one you just get an auto decline within 30 days.

That's BS!! They won't take some time to look at the individuals history.

It's just very tough out there. I've been out of work for over two yrs and have probably sent out close to 800 resumes (that I've kept track of!) and I've been in mortgage for over 25 yrs plus a BS in RE Finance - still can't get into a commercial bank as a credit analyst or underwriter, not to mention getting into a position to continue educating myself to get a DE cert. Don't even try to contact anyone - no one will speak with you. I've had to go through Bank Directors to get phone numbers and even with their "influence" I get the "speak" that I'm not qualified. So much for "getting an education and being able to write your own ticket" as my father used to say. I should have stayed at the hospital as a PBX operator, as I'd probably still have a job after all these years! Recruiters and employers, anymore, have square peg guidelines for their job positions and if you don't meet every single criteria, forget about it. They don't know how to match skill sets with job requirements. It will be interesting to see who will be elected President of the US considering all the presidential experience McCain and Obama have - God help us all!

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mike in Rochester, New York

72 months ago

I felt compelled to write after reading all of your comments. I was a self employed Mortgage Banker for 27 years in NYS. I have my CHUMS number as an FHA DE underwriter. I have a real estate license, BS degree in Business, AAS degrees in Accounting and Marketing. A friend of mine operates a commercial loan brokerage accross the hall with 30+ years in putting together large commercial deals which I often work with him on. I closed my business down in February and became a branch manager for a nationwide mortgage company that is a subsidiary of a federally chartered bank. I sent out a few resumes and when I stated I wanted $70K for a DE underwriting position Wells Fargo didn't want to pay it. So I suggested they hire my student who i trained for 5 years and gave him his CHUMS number. They hired him for $40k almost half. A couple years from now when they half to indemnify HUD for losses that will certainly exceed $35k it won't even be reflected on by mgt. as to their business decissions. Let me state that there are only three types of people in any profession: Those who can do, Those who can't teach, those who succeed do both!
Now, my point is this: The person interviewing you is usually the second personality, the teacher. The problem is that they know theory, and testing with a supplied answer key. To be a good underwriter or financial analysist you need to know why bad loans are made and why good loans go bad. To master this any underwriter should be made from a collector background. Collect everyone elses approved loans and you'll see first hand why and where the mistakes were made. We know hindsight is 20/20 right. The second point I would make is that as an underwriter you probably want more than the person who is interviewing make's. This is a primary cause for not being hired....I know it was in my case with the op's manager @ Wells Fargo when she interviewed me. I new this because she asked me how much I was asking for three separate times.

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subramani in Madras, India

68 months ago

Good grief! i am haveing 4 years credit analyst exprience ans now also doing same, i am found somay dubal and duplicate vechile also if i got good job means i survay of my lief this company

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Ashlee in Chino, California

65 months ago

Oceans11 in Aliso Viejo, California said: I've been trying to break into both of these companies for over a year. I was an unemployed mortgage underwriter with experience in traditional FNMA/FHLMC, Alt-A & Sub prime & now I am a Middle Market Healthcare underwriter for a large firm.

My question is what are companies like these looking for? When I read the description for Credit Analyst it doesn't seem that complex. In fact the type of underwriting I'm doing presently is much more challenging than basic Credit Analyzation but I miss finance & banking & would like to someday come back. I don't have a degree but I have 10+ years underwriting experience.

Hi Oceans11,

Well you are in luck because I am a full blown Commercial Credit Analyst with 2 years under my belt in the Los Angeles area with 6 years of mortgage underwriting before that. I was hired by a community bank that put faith in my abilities as a mortgage underwriter. I banked on the fact that I was at the top of my game when I was mortgage underwriting and like you I thought that if I could excel in mortgage underwriting I could underwrite anything. Boy did I get slapped in the face when I was thrown into Commercial Lending. I can see how a lot of recruiters do turn away mortgage applicants. Commercial lending just has a completely different set of required skills. Just because it is called underwriting it doesnt necessarily mean that you qualify. When my company was hiring for an additional credit analyst we looked for someone with accounting background, the ability to analyze financials and understand how the cash flows and must be able to put it all together in writing. This will be the case almost everywhere you go b/c companies just can't afford the additional expese to pay for Commercial Credit Analyst Training. There are courses out there www.rmahq.org/RMA/RMAUniverse/KnowledgeandTrainingCenter/
Check out this website. They offer some helpful courses. Good Luck

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Jolly in Bellevue, Washington

63 months ago

Hi ,

I read your comments , and I am impressed with your remarks ,

I was banker in Credit management, and Now I am in usa , want to start career in credit analyst field , How should I begin , any course, any specific software to be learned , will you pl guide me ?

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KSAnderson2010 in NYC, Texas

48 months ago

Just found a position at a large Commercial Real Estate firm as an analyst. I was really surprised to see that they are hiring for numerous positons in NY, TX, NC,FL, GA-analysts, project/acct. mgrs, underwriters. Thought I would spread the word, since I know that many people in my industry are looking for work. keana_a@yahoo.com I would be happy to pass on anyones resume who is might be interested.
hope this helps anyone who is looking...............

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AU in Auburn, Alabama

44 months ago

@KSAnderson2010 Is the firm you mentioned above currently seeking applicants?

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KSAnderson2010

44 months ago

Yes, what position are you seeking? Email me your resume and I'll pass it on.

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Leo in Pompano Beach, Florida

43 months ago

Any Mtg underwriter with 5, 10, 20 yrs who thinks they know how to be a Commercial Underwriter, come on over... I'll give you a test in my office to see if you pass..... you'll go home with your face down, tail between legs, and a new sense of humbleness & realistic self appraisal

Credit Officer - Community Bank

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