This is generally the third- or fourth-highest rating that a rating agency assigns to a security or insurance carrier. It is often the lowest investment-grade rating, but it signifies that the issuer is fairly stable with relatively low default risk.


The ratings assigned by the various ratings agencies are based primarily upon the insurer's or issuer's creditworthiness. This rating can therefore be interpreted as a direct measure of the probability of default. However, credit stability and priority of payment are also factored into the rating.

  1. Moody's

    An independent, unaffiliated research company that rates fixed ...
  2. AAA

    The highest possible rating assigned to the bonds of an issuer ...
  3. Standard & Poor's - S&P

    The world's leading index provider and the foremost source of ...
  4. Ratings Service

    A company, such as Moody's or Standard & Poor's, that rates ...
  5. Credit Analysis

    A type of analysis an investor or bond portfolio manager performs ...
  6. Fitch Ratings

    An international credit rating agency based out of New York City ...
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