Illinois Credit Rating Takes Another Hit - Fitch, Moody’s Downgrade Illinois

Fitch Ratings, whose credit ratings are closely watched by Wall Street and the global investment community, reduced Illinois’ “general obligation” (GO) bond rating from single-A-minus, the former ranking, to one notch closer to junk-bond status on Monday, October 19. The new BBB+ rating is only two notches above the lowest investment-grade rating (BBB-) and is three notches above BB+, which signals non-investment-grade (“junk bond”) status. Illinois’ GO bond rating is the lowest among the 50 states. Following Fitch’s downgrade, Moody’s Investor Services downgraded its ratings on Illinois bonds. The downgrade has a direct impact on the state budget, as the lower the bond rating, the higher the interest investors must be paid.