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Judgmental Credit Analysis


Judgmental Credit Analysis is a method of assessing the creditworthiness of a borrower primarily based on the lender’s subjective judgment. The lender considers factors such as the borrower’s character, reputation, and previous relationship with the bank. It’s less reliant on quantitative metrics and more on qualitative assessment.


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Key Takeaways

1. Subjectivity: Judgmental Credit Analysis primarily involves a qualitative approach. It requires expert judgments and critical decision-making based on non-statistical information such as sector conditions, management effectiveness, and company reputation.

2. Comprehensiveness: This method goes beyond mere financial ratios and quantitative information to evaluate a borrower’s creditworthiness. It encompasses a broad range of factors which makes it a comprehensive method of credit risk assessment.

3. Flexibility: Given its less structured nature, Judgmental Credit Analysis provides room for flexibility. This allows for a more adaptable approach to interpreting and assessing risk while considering unique aspects of each individual case.


Judgmental credit analysis is a crucial element in the field of business and finance as it is employed to assess a potential borrower’s creditworthiness based on subjective judgment and expert knowledge. Instead of solely relying on quantifiable data and traditional credit scoring methods, judgmental credit analysis goes beyond numbers incorporating a broader range of qualitative factors such as reputation, integrity, industry experiences, and market conditions. This type of analysis is significant as it helps lenders and asset managers to exercise discretion, better comprehend potential risks and rewards, and make more informed decisions when granting credit, thus reducing the likelihood of default and ensuring the financial stability of their institution.


Judgmental Credit Analysis is used primarily to evaluate or assess the creditworthiness of business entities or individuals. Its primary purpose is to determine the risk associated with lending money or extending credit to a certain party. The process looks beyond just numerical and quantifiable data. It applies human judgement on the subjective factors like the reputation of the business, the character of the borrower, the current market condition among other things. This is done in conjunction with the traditional financial analysis to provide a holistic view of the potential risk associated with the borrower.The advantage of a Judgmental Credit Analysis lies in its capacity to take into account unique circumstances and situations that a purely mathematical model might miss. This analytical method can perceive trends and signs, and weigh in the overall industry context, which a statistical based model might not be able to identify or measure. However, the weakness of this method lies in its subjective nature, with the outcome being possibly affected by the personal bias of the analyst. Hence, judgmental credit analysis should ideally be used along with statistical methods to balance out its shortcomings while leveraging its strengths.


Judgmental Credit Analysis is a method of approving or denying credit based on the lender’s assessment of current economic conditions and the future prospects of the borrower. Here are three real world examples of how this practice might be applied:1. Small Business Loan: A small business owner applies for a loan at a local bank. The bank performs a judgmental credit analysis by taking into account the borrower’s credit history, income, the nature of their business, local business conditions, and even their personal character before deciding on whether to approve or deny the loan.2. Mortgage Approval: A couple applies for a mortgage to purchase a new home. The mortgage lender uses judgmental credit analysis to look beyond just the applicant’s credit score. They consider the applicant’s job stability, income, down payment capacity, and the value and location of the property being mortgaged. 3. Credit Card Application: When applying for a credit card, the provider will use judgmental credit analysis to make a decision. They might look at factors like the applicant’s past credit card usage, payment history, current debts, and even education and occupation. Based on these factors, they form a judgment on the applicant’s ability and willingness to repay debts.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is Judgmental Credit Analysis?

Judgmental Credit Analysis is a method of assessing a borrower’s creditworthiness by considering qualitative factors such as character, capacity, collateral, and existing economic conditions, in addition to quantitative factors.

What factors are considered in Judgmental Credit Analysis?

The main factors considered are character, capacity, collateral, conditions, and capital. They’re often referred to as the 5Cs of credit.

How is Judgmental Credit Analysis different from statistical credit analysis?

Unlike statistical credit analysis, which is purely based on data and numbers, Judgmental Credit Analysis also takes into account behavioural aspects, professional integrity, personal circumstances, and market conditions.

Is Judgmental Credit Analysis subjective?

Yes, it is subjective to a certain degree. However, experienced analysts have the ability to draw valid conclusions based on their deep understanding of business introspection and human behaviour.

Can Judgmental Credit Analysis be biased?

As with any decision-making process that incorporates human judgement, there is a risk of leaving room for bias in Judgmental Credit Analysis. Hence, it is important that the process be monitored and regulated to ensure fair practice.

Why is Judgmental Credit Analysis important?

It is a vital part of the lending process because it attempts to predict the likelihood of default by borrowers. This helps creditors mitigate risk and avoid potential losses.

How reliable is Judgmental Credit Analysis?

The reliability of Judgmental Credit Analysis generally depends on the expertise of the credit analyst. It is often used in combination with statistical credit analysis for a more comprehensive assessment.

Can Judgmental Credit Analysis be used for all types of loans?

While it can be employed in assessing any type of loan, it’s particularly useful in cases where historical data is limited or where borrower circumstances are unique.

How is collateral considered in Judgmental Credit Analysis?

Collateral is evaluated based on its perceived value and how easily it can be converted into cash to recover the loan in case the borrower defaults.

Are there any downsides to Judgmental Credit Analysis?

The risk of subjectivity and bias, as well as the potential for human error, are seen as downsides. Its effectiveness also largely depends on the skill and experience of the analyst.

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