Credit Rating Agencies (CRA) in India

Credit rating is an opinion of a Credit Rating Agency (CRA) on the likelihood of timely payment of interest and principal (credit risk) on the rated debt instrument. A Credit Rating Agency (CRA) is a company that assigns credit ratings for issuers of certain types of debt obligations as well as the debt instruments themselves. Credit ratings are used by investors, issuers, investment banks, broker-dealers, and governments. For investors, credit rating agencies increase the range of investment alternatives and provide independent, easy-to-use measurements of relative credit risk; this generally increases the efficiency of the market, lowering costs for both borrowers and lenders.

The Indian credit rating industry has evolved over a period of time. Indian credit rating industry mainly comprises of CRISIL, ICRA, FITCH, CARE, ONICRA, & SMERA.


Jointly sponsored by the UTI and the Industrial Credit and investment Corporation of India(ICICI),CRISIL has been functioning since January 1988.It rates the safety and timely payment of interest on debt securities like debentures and fixed deposites of public and private sector .CRISIL is the largest credit rating agency in India. It was established in 1987. The world’s largest rating agency Standard & Poor’s now holds majority stake in CRISIL. Till date it has rated more than 5178 SMEs across India and has issued more than 10,000 SME ratings.


ICRA was established in 1991 by leading Indian financial institutions and commercial banks. International credit rating agency, Moodys, is the largest shareholder. ICRA has a dedicated team of professionals for the MSME sector and has developed a linear scale for MSME sector which makes the benchmarking with peers easier.

Fitch Ratings

Fitch Ratings is a global rating agency committed to providing the world’s credit markets with independent and prospective credit opinions, research, and data. Fitch Ratings is headquartered in New York and London and is part of the Fitch Group.

CARE Ratings

Incorporated in 1993, Credit Analysis and Research Limited (CARE) is a credit rating, research and advisory committee promoted by Industrial Development Bank of India (IDBI), Canara Bank, Unit Trust of India (UTI) and other financial and lending institutions. CARE has completed over 7,564 rating assignments since its inception in 1993.

ONICRA Credit Rating Agency

ONICRA was established in 1993 by Mr. Sonu Mirchandani as a rating agency. It analyzes data and provides rating solutions for Individuals and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). ONICRA has an extensive experience in operating a wide range of business processes in areas such as Finance, Accounting, Back-end Management, Application Processing, Analytics, and Customer Relations. It has rated more than 2500 SMEs.

Small and Medium Enterprises Rating Agency (SMERA)

SMERA a joint initiative by SIDBI, Dun & Bradstreet Information Services India Private Limited (D&B) and several leading banks in the country. SMERA is the country’s first Rating agency that focuses primarily on the Indian MSME segment. SMERA has completed 7000 ratings.

 Different International credit rating agencies are Moody’s, Standard & Poor’s and Fitch