Answered By: Barbara Coffey
Last Updated: Oct 01, 2019     Views: 602

Credit ratings are given to an issuer.

Bond ratings are given to the individual security. 

The more subordinated bonds may have a lower bond rating than the more senior debt.

Asset backed, mortgage backed and other kinds of debt also have a rating based on the chances of the issuer repaying the security.

Public and private companies can issue debt.

  • Bond screener - https://finra-markets.morningstar.com/BondCenter/Screener.jsp or Bloomberg 
  • WRDS – Mergent FISD – Bond ratings and data includes screening - This can be used to screen on bond rating.  
  • WRDS – CapitalIQ Credit ratings – ratings on companies, governments and things like CDOs and asset backed securities.
  • WRDS – TRACE for corporate debt
  • Bloomberg – Ticker <corp> go – will list all the company’s bonds. Select one bond – using its full description hit ticker coupon maturity <corp> DES for a description or ticker coupon maturity <corp> rate for its rating. RATD – ratings definitions, RATI – list of agencies or to search for corporate bonds <corp> srch <go>
  • For high yield bonds – HYM for the menu or HYI for the indices
  • For governments <gov> TK <go> for list of government bonds around the world. For states – STGO and CTGO for city

For US government issues -

On each of the rating agencies’ website are details of rating criteria.So for S&P rating criteria go to the S&P website. There are a number of rating agencies - S&P Moody's and Fitch are the best known.  If screening for bond's with a certain rating this can be done using Mergent FISD. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Credit_rating - shows the different ratings.

SDC Global Public Finance database in Firestone (A Floor - RIS Suite) for the muni IPO bond rating.

Private company debt – SDC, CapitalIQ, Dealscan and Bloomberg

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