EDU Articles

Learn about investing, trading, retirement, banking, personal finance and more.

Ad is loading...
Help CenterFind Your WayBuy/Sell Daily ProductsIntraday ProductsFAQ
Expert's OpinionsWeekly ReportsBest StocksInvestingCryptoAI Trading BotsArtificial Intelligence
IntroductionMarket AbbreviationsStock Market StatisticsThinking about Your Financial FutureSearch for AdvisorsFinancial CalculatorsFinancial MediaFederal Agencies and Programs
Investment PortfoliosModern Portfolio TheoriesInvestment StrategyPractical Portfolio Management InfoDiversificationRatingsActivities AbroadTrading Markets
Investment Terminology and InstrumentsBasicsInvestment TerminologyTrading 1 on 1BondsMutual FundsExchange Traded Funds (ETF)StocksAnnuities
Technical Analysis and TradingAnalysis BasicsTechnical IndicatorsTrading ModelsPatternsTrading OptionsTrading ForexTrading CommoditiesSpeculative Investments
Cryptocurrencies and BlockchainBlockchainBitcoinEthereumLitecoinRippleTaxes and Regulation
RetirementSocial Security BenefitsLong-Term Care InsuranceGeneral Retirement InfoHealth InsuranceMedicare and MedicaidLife InsuranceWills and Trusts
Retirement Accounts401(k) and 403(b) PlansIndividual Retirement Accounts (IRA)SEP and SIMPLE IRAsKeogh PlansMoney Purchase/Profit Sharing PlansSelf-Employed 401(k)s and 457sPension Plan RulesCash-Balance PlansThrift Savings Plans and 529 Plans and ESA
Personal FinancePersonal BankingPersonal DebtHome RelatedTax FormsSmall BusinessIncomeInvestmentsIRS Rules and PublicationsPersonal LifeMortgage
Corporate BasicsBasicsCorporate StructureCorporate FundamentalsCorporate DebtRisksEconomicsCorporate AccountingDividendsEarnings

What is a credit rating?

Defining Credit Rating

Credit rating is a calculated evaluation of a borrower's creditworthiness, either in general terms or regarding a specific debt or financial obligation. This rating can be given to any entity that seeks to borrow money, whether it's an individual, a corporation, a state, a provincial authority, or a sovereign government. In essence, a credit rating is a measure of an entity's fiscal responsibility and their likelihood of fulfilling their debt obligations.

The Players in Credit Rating

There are two distinct types of credit ratings: individual and organizational. On an individual level, credit scores are determined by credit bureaus such as Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. These credit bureaus use a three-digit numerical scale based on the Fair Isaac Corporation (FICO) credit scoring. In contrast, credit ratings for companies and governments are calculated by specialized credit rating agencies like S&P Global, Moody's, or Fitch Ratings. These rating agencies, compensated by the entity seeking a rating, examine the business's overall strength, its cash flows, and its capacity to meet all liabilities.

Why Credit Rating Matter

Credit ratings influence critical financial decisions. They determine whether a borrower is approved for credit and the interest rate at which the credit will be repaid. A credit rating, for example, can directly influence the interest rate offered on a credit card, a home loan, or a business loan.

High credit scores tend to correlate with lower interest rates, while low scores correlate with higher rates—a mechanism called a risk premium. This risk premium also applies to insurance companies, as they base their evaluations on credit ratings due to the multiple risks and liabilities they undertake in insurance contracts.

The Grading System: From AAA to D

For businesses and government bonds, credit agencies employ a letter-based system ranging from AAA (highest credit quality) to D (default). Bonds with ratings above BBB are considered "Investment Grade", implying a low risk of default. In contrast, those below BBB are referred to as "Junk Bonds" or euphemistically as "High Yield Bonds". Junk bonds carry a higher risk of default, and therefore, to attract investors, they offer a higher yield than Investment Grade bonds, embodying the principle of a risk premium.

Improving Credit Ratings

Entities can undertake several steps to enhance their credit ratings. Bond issuers, for instance, can purchase bond surety insurance from creditworthy insurers, which acts as a safeguard and potentially uplifts their ratings. Furthermore, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) permits companies like Fitch, Moody’s, and Standard and Poor’s to issue ratings. Known as Nationally Recognized Statistical Ratings Organizations (NRSROs), these companies play a pivotal role in enhancing the transparency and reliability of credit ratings.

In the financial world, credit ratings serve as a linchpin. They provide a credible measure of an entity's ability to uphold its side of a contract, thereby allowing stakeholders to make informed decisions. Whether it's a bond buyer assessing the risk of default, an insurance company evaluating potential liabilities, or a consumer applying for a loan, understanding the power and significance of credit ratings is integral to sound financial decisions.

Credit Ratings and Investment Decisions

A key audience for credit ratings is the investment community. Credit ratings are indispensable for investors when evaluating the viability and risk of a particular investment opportunity. For instance, when an investor is considering buying bonds, the bond issuer's credit rating serves as a crucial data point. It signals the issuer's ability to meet their debt obligations, thereby allowing the investor to gauge the risk associated with their investment.

Ratings above BBB, known as Investment Grade, are often preferred by conservative investors due to their lower risk of default. On the other hand, more risk-tolerant investors might be drawn to High Yield Bonds, or Junk Bonds, which have ratings below BBB. Although these bonds carry a higher risk of default, they offer higher returns to compensate for this added risk.

Credit Ratings and the Consumer Lending Market

In the consumer lending market, credit scores – a type of credit rating for individuals – have a significant impact. When a consumer applies for a loan or a credit card, the lender will examine the applicant's credit score to determine their creditworthiness. This score, calculated using the applicant's credit history, directly influences the lender's decision on whether to extend credit and at what interest rate.

Individuals with high credit scores are generally considered low risk and thus qualify for lower interest rates. Those with low scores, however, are seen as high risk and face higher interest rates – the risk premium concept in action again. This dynamic underscores the importance of maintaining a good credit score for consumers seeking loans or credit cards.

The Role of Credit Rating Agencies

Given their vital role, credit rating agencies must operate with integrity, transparency, and independence. These agencies – such as S&P Global, Moody's, and Fitch Ratings – are entrusted with evaluating an entity's financial strength and creditworthiness, which can significantly influence economic decisions and market dynamics.

To ensure credibility, some of these agencies are recognized as Nationally Recognized Statistical Ratings Organizations (NRSROs) by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). As NRSROs, these agencies are permitted to issue credit ratings for regulatory purposes, further cementing their role in the global financial landscape.

Credit ratings, whether for individuals, corporations, or governments, are integral to the smooth functioning of the financial services and investment industry. They offer a reliable and standardized measure of creditworthiness, empowering all financial market participants – from consumers to investors, lenders, and insurers – to make informed decisions. Understanding how credit ratings work and why they are important is fundamental for anyone engaging in financial activities.



A credit rating is given to a company or debt issue after a disinterested third party evaluates the strength of the business or cash flow and rates its ability to pay all of its liabilities.

Third-party institutions such as Standard & Poor’s (S&P), Moody’s, and Fitch will conduct research in order to give investors an idea of how likely a business, bond issue, or insurance company can pay all of its obligations.

Anyone entering into a contract where debt is involved, such as a bond, or a risk (counter-party risk) is taken on by an insurance company, or making a loan to a consumer, needs to have an idea of how likely that person or entity is to uphold their side of the contract.

Bond buyers know that ratings above BBB are considered Investment Grade, while below that level is considered Junk Bonds, or, more euphemistically, High Yield Bonds. Junk bonds must pay a higher yield than Investment Grade bonds to offer investors an incentive to take on the additional risk of default. This is known as a risk premium.

Similarly, an individual with a low credit score will be charged more interest for a loan than an individual with a higher credit score — this is also a risk premium. Insurance companies are evaluated based on their credit ratings since they take on so many risks and liabilities in the form of insurance contracts.

Bond issuers can improve their ratings by purchasing bond surety insurance from a credit-worthy insurer. The SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) permits companies like Fitch, Moody’s, and Standard and Poor’s to issue ratings that can be used within the industry for self-regulatory purposes.

In this capacity, they are known as NRSROs, or Nationally Recognized Statistical Ratings Organizations, or, less loquaciously, as Credit Ratings Agencies (CRAs).

What are Bond Ratings?
What is a AAA/Aaa rating?

Tickeron's Offerings

The fundamental premise of technical analysis lies in identifying recurring price patterns and trends, which can then be used to forecast the course of upcoming market trends. Our journey commenced with the development of AI-based Engines, such as the Pattern Search Engine, Real-Time Patterns, and the Trend Prediction Engine, which empower us to conduct a comprehensive analysis of market trends. We have delved into nearly all established methodologies, including price patterns, trend indicators, oscillators, and many more, by leveraging neural networks and deep historical backtests. As a consequence, we've been able to accumulate a suite of trading algorithms that collaboratively allow our AI Robots to effectively pinpoint pivotal moments of shifts in market trends.

Disclaimers and Limitations

Ad is loading...