Job Descriptions, Definitions Roles, Responsibility: Credit Authorizers, Checkers, and Clerks

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Credit authorizers, checkers, and clerks review credit history and obtain the information needed to determine the creditworthiness of individuals or businesses applying for credit. They spend much of their day on the telephone, obtaining information from credit bureaus, employers, banks, credit institutions, and other sources to determine applicants’ credit history and ability to pay back the charge.

Credit authorizers, checkers, and clerks process and authorize applications for credit, including applications for credit cards. Although the distinctions among the three job titles are disappearing, some general differences remain. Credit clerks typically handle the processing of credit applications by verifying the information on the application, calling applicants if additional data are needed, contacting credit bureaus for a credit rating, and obtaining any other information necessary to determine applicants’ creditworthiness. If the clerk works in a department store or other establishment that offers instant credit, he or she enters the applicant’s information into a computer at the point of sale. A credit rating will then be transmitted from a central office within seconds to indicate whether the application should be rejected or approved.

Credit checkers investigate the credit history and current credit standing of a person or business prior to the issuance of a loan or line of credit. Credit checkers also may telephone or write to credit departments of businesses and service companies to obtain information about an applicant’s credit standing. Credit-reporting agencies and bureaus hire a number of checkers to secure, update, and verify information for credit reports. These workers often are called credit investigators or reporters.

Credit authorizers approve charges against customers’ existing accounts. Most charges are approved automatically by computer. However, when accounts are past due, overextended, or invalid, or when they show a change of address, salespersons refer the associated transactions to credit authorizers located in a central office. These authorizers evaluate the customers’ computerized credit records and payment histories and quickly decide whether to approve new charges.

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