An assessment of the creditworthiness of a company carried out by specialized credit rating companies. This assessment is reflected in a credit rating or credit score, which enables investors to assess the risk of issues and issuing companies. A distinction is usually made between short-term and long-term issues. Credit ratings are expressed in letter grades: AAA (maximum solvency) to C (high risk of default). Between these limits, there are several letters indicating different degrees of solvency.