Fitch Ratings

DEFINITION of 'Fitch Ratings'

An international credit rating agency based out of New York City and London. The company's ratings are used as a guide to investors as to which investments are most likely going to yield a return. It is based on factors such as how small an economic shift would be necessary to affect the standing of the bond, and how much, and what kind of debt is held by the company.

BREAKING DOWN 'Fitch Ratings'

Along with Moody's and Standard & Poor's, Fitch is one of the top three credit rating agencies. Its rating system is very similar to S&P's in that they both use a letter system.

Some examples of letter ratings include:
AAA - reliable and stable
AA - quality with a bit higher risk
A - economic situation could affect finance
BBB - middle class-an acceptable risk
BB - more prone to economic changes
CCC - vulnerable, dependent on current economic situation
D - has defaulted before, high risk to again

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