Being a Loan Officer in Kenya
People Call Loan Officers different names
A Loan officer is a person who handles a portfolio of loans usually given to clients. They are different from a personal banker who sits in the banking hall to wait for those coming for loans and advances. Loan officer goes out and looks for people who need loans and are not able to find funding. Some banks call them micro-credit officers.
In general I chose to call them loan officers. where I work they are called Micro-Finance officers. Some banks call them credit officers while others call it Financial Advisors. The names doesn't change the work they do.
It is not easy to be a loan officer especially in rural areas where most people do not have much knowleddge about financial services and what they do. People in rural Kenya do not know even how to invest in their business and therefore the role played by the loan officers spans beyond just administering the loan and collecting the repayment but rather involves visiting your clients and advising them on how to run their businesses
What loan Officer did in college
Most loan officers are business graduates with knowledge on sales and marketing. It is important to know that when considering to take up a this career you need to have relationship management skills. Working with people needs you to have vast knowledge on to talk to people, how to negotiate, convincing power apart from other skills that your employer may require.
However there are good loan officers who have not studied business as their first degree. These does not limit them from being effective in training and advising clients. There are teachers who left classrooms to become loan officers. And so with your particular degree you can be a loan officer. You may however required to have basic finance and accounting skills to help you manage your reporting and repayments of your clients. Some of these clients are really illiterate and may look for you for every single question they have.
Also successful loan officers should be problem solvers, they should be ready to involved issues outside you job description. Maintaining balance balance between work and social matters is what will drive you the next level in this carers
Where are loan Officers Employed
Loan officers get employed with banks, and other financial institutions. What changes with various institutions is the name used. Micro-Finance in institutions will call them Micro-Finance officers (MFO)or credit officers. Banks in Kenya like using Micro Credit officer (MCO)
Other financial institutions like insurance firms does not have loan officers. The almost similar position will be sales people although in some institutions they are called financial advisers. Savings and Cooperatives Societies also employ loan officer. In general there are a lot of institutions where a loan officer can work comfortably.
Large number of graduates leaving college today are in some way involved in sales and marketing. This introduction to sales is the one that creates loan officers.
What are the Advantages of Being a Loan Officer
There are no bad jobs provided that they are legal and genuine. Being a loan officer is interesting especially for those who do not like sitting in the office. The best of all since you have to go out meet people and solve their issues.
What you need to remember is that there is no easy job. For you to enjoy the benefits it requires to be very diligent, hardworking and always ready to improve and learn new ways.
Loan officer creates very useful networks both for their careers and lives. You get an opportunity to meet so many people and transact business with them. Connections are able also when you want to set up your own personal business because the same people will form your clients.
Skills you need
Finance skill. Even if you have another degree taking simple diploma causes in banking to help you in understanding this business.
Be ethical at all times. Clients can be a little cheecky at times. They can drag you into unthical behaviour
Demerits of being a loan officer
There are challenges with this career as well. If you are not lucky to be good at negotiating and maintaining relationships then there are challenges that you will face. Expecially when you give out a loan and your client defaults. If you are not able to bring together a good team of people who know your client it may not go well with your boss.
The job can stressing at times. When you have reports to be done, appraisals and improvements. You will need to improve on your balance of work life. There is no job without its demerits so don't fear.
© 2014 Moses Wafula