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Public Finance Automated Scoring Tool (PFAST)

An automated municipal credit scoring and data solution

  • The challenge
  • The solution

Automate Credit Scoring and Efficiently Assess Municipal Risk

The US Public Finance sector comprises tens of thousands of rated and unrated issuers. Many institutions, governments, and corporations need to assess the credit quality of these issuers, but often spend more time gathering the necessary data than conducting a robust credit risk analysis.

Automate Credit Scoring and Efficiently Assess Municipal Risk

PFAST is an automated credit scoring and data solution to assess the creditworthiness of local governments. The solution is comprised of: MuniScores, Credit Assessment Scorecards, and a Batch Scoring capability.

Proactively Manage Municipal Exposures

Gain the insights you need to quickly and efficiently evaluate credit risk

S&P Global Market Intelligence provides MuniScores, quantitatively derived scores for nearly all local governments including: cities, counties, and school districts in the U.S. These MuniScores are generated by leveraging key financial and economic risk factors.

Credit Assessment Scorecards complement MuniScores by providing a credit risk assessment that combines qualitative risk factors with quantitative risk indicators.

Score your municipal portfolio in minutes by leveraging our Batch Scoring tool.


MuniScore Development Process


Source: PFAST, S&P Global Market Intelligence, September 2020. For illustrative purposes only.

PFAST Coverage:

At S&P Global Market Intelligence, we understand that assessing the credit risk for Public Finance entities can be complex due to the segmented nature of the business. Within Public Finance, there are diverse segments e.g. Not-for-Profit Higher Education and sub-segments e.g. Private Colleges/Universities, each require a different set of risk factors, benchmarks and weights.


Helping to Evaluate U.S. Public Finance during COVID-19 Pandemic


  • Which Local Governments will be most impacted by the Pandemic?
  • How US Transportation Credit Quality is Affected by COVID-19
  • COVID-19 – Five Key Risk Factors Now Driving State Credit Quality
  • Risk Insight: COVID-19 From Safe Harbor to Rough Seas – The Choppy Outlook for US Public Finance

In a few weeks, hundreds of cities, counties, and school districts with fiscal years ending on 6/30 will publish their annual financial statements. Typically, this is a routine event, but not this year. These financial statements will offer the first detailed picture showing the fiscal impact of COVID-19 on local government finances. How can we gauge the impact on local governments?


The COVID-19 pandemic has been a disruptive force that has dramatically changed the US transportation industry. In four months, the precipitous decline in public transit ridership, air traffic, parking, toll road transactions, port container volumes, and overall mobility--up to 95% in some subsectors--has contributed to the current recession and the sharpest contraction in economic activity since World War II.

At S&P Global Market Intelligence, we ran different transportation scenarios to better understand the potential impact on the credit quality of each sector. Leveraging our Public Finance Automated Scoring Tool (PFAST), there appear to be five key risk factors that are now driving transportation credit quality.


For decades, US state governments have been the epitome of credit stability. However, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has been so intense that in just a few months, there has been an accelerating need for the federal government to provide direct financial assistance to states. In this vlog, we explore the potential impact of this pandemic on the credit quality of state governments.


COVID-19 has adversely disrupted nearly all sectors. In the United States, few asset classes could experience the magnitude of potential credit deterioration as US Public Finance (USPF). For years, USPF has been a safe harbor for investors as rated entities experienced a minimal amount of defaults. Now, with many segments of the US economy closed, are we headed for choppy seas?


PFAST Scorecard Business Applications

PFAST provides a granular, transparent, and consistent framework for the measurement and assessment of credit risk. It facilitates multiple business applications, including:

  • Loan origination
  • Investment opportunities
  • Portfolio analysis
  • Customer finance
  • Insurance
  • Bond pricing

Features Benefits
Automated quantitatively derived MuniScores for all U.S. cities, counties, school districts and states. Productivity gains with automated data collection and credit scoring.
The scope of application includes Cities, Counties, School Districts, States, Water and Sewer Utilities, Healthcare, Higher Education and Transportation. Single-source solution that allows you to score more than 90% of the U.S. municipal market.*
Training and ongoing support from the analytical team. PFAST client training workshops and easy to use Scorecard User Guides help to ensure a successful implementation.
Rigorous, tested and fully documented approach supported by explicit scoring criteria and extensive user and technical documentation. PFAST enhances consistency and transparency of internal rating systems in an easy to understand approach.
A large and continually growing database of municipal entities financials and economic data for the major PF segments. Ability to tap into a detailed source of PF credit risk data and generate automated scores in key segments.

Are you looking to better manage your municipal exposures?



*Data as of August 2020.