Lower quality debt held by a company, as reflected by its credit rating. A speculative credit rating indicates that the company is less likely to be able to pay back its creditors than a company with an investment-grade rating. Companies rated BB, B, CC, and C are considered speculative by Standard and Poor’s. Moody’s Investors Service considers companies with Ba1, Ba2, Ba3, B1, B2, B3, and C ratings to be speculative. Ratings at Fitch from BB to D are considered to be speculative.