Moody's warns it may downgrade US credit rating

July 13, 2011 - 5:44 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) โ€” Moody's Investors Service is threatening to lower the United States' credit rating, saying there is a small but rising risk that the government will default on its debt.

The credit rating agency says it will review the federal government's triple-A bond rating because the White House and Congress are running out of time to raise the nation's $14.3 trillion borrowing limit and avoid a default.

The government reached its borrowing limit in May. Treasury says the government will default on its debt if the limit is not raised by Aug. 2.

A downgrade would raise interest rates on U.S. treasury bonds, increasing the interest paid by U.S. taxpayers. It would also push up rates for mortgages, car loans and other debts, which are linked to Treasury rates.