What Is Standard & Poor's Underlying Rating (SPURs)?

What Is Standard & Poor's Underlying Rating (SPURs)?

2 Min.

Standard & Poor's Underlying Ratings (SPURs) offer an assessment of a municipality's credit quality that is independent of any guarantor or insurer credit enhancements. Municipal bonds and other public sector bonds generally come with credit enhancements to strengthen their creditworthiness. However, to evaluate a city's credit quality in its most basic form, SPURs are used to strip away all these credit enhancement aspects. A SPURS rating is issued by Standard & Poor only upon the request of the issuer/obligor, and the issue is monitored continuously with a published SPUR. 


When evaluating the credit quality of a municipality, Standard & Poor's Underlying Ratings offer an independent perspective, distinct from any guarantor or insurer enhancements. Credit enhancements are commonly applied to municipal and public sector bonds to secure favorable terms by bolstering confidence in the borrower's commitment, often through additional insurance or third-party guarantees. SPURs ratings are exclusively issued upon request by the issuer or obligor, and ongoing monitoring is maintained for issues with a published SPUR.

Exploring Standard & Poor's Underlying Rating (SPURs)

Delving into Standard & Poor's Underlying Ratings reveals that they undergo a comparable in-depth analysis by Standard & Poor's, are distinguished by the 'SPUR' label, and align with S&P's conventional rating scales. In contrast, S&P's issue credit ratings encompass the creditworthiness of guarantors, insurers, and various credit enhancements, along with the currency denomination of the obligation.

Advantages of SPURs

Municipalities can seek a SPURs rating to showcase their credibility as issuers, thus drawing the attention of investors. In the present landscape, investors increasingly seek comprehensive creditworthiness insights when assessing diverse bonds, enabling them to make more informed decisions. This, in turn, extends access to a broader spectrum of potential investors for municipalities and bond issuers.


Standard & Poor's Underlying Ratings provide a fundamental, independent assessment of a municipality's credit quality, free from external influences. These ratings enable investors to make informed decisions, broadening the investor base for municipalities and bond issuers, ultimately enhancing their appeal as credible issuers.

Standard & Poor's Underlying Rating (SPURs)