Watching a dramatic day on Wall Street can be difficult and stressful for many of us who invest.
Until now many were unaware of a AAA rating, much less the country's AA+ rating.
Good Question: How will the U.S. credit downgrade affect Americans?
Wall Street did not react well to the recent decision by Standard and Poor to downgrade the U.S. credit rating for the first time ever.
"Markets will rise and fall, but this is the United States of America. No matter what some agency may say we've always been and always will be a triple a country," said President Barack Obama.
Standard and Poor is a financial services company, it issues credit ratings for the debt of public and private corporations.
There is no exact formula for determining a country's credit rating, instead it's a well researched opinion.
The agency blames the move on the debt ceiling deal saying it doesn't do enough to get the country's finances in order.
The downgrade simply means that investors would be better off buying debt from one of the 18 countries that still have a triple a rating.
For the average American what does it mean?
Experts say in the short term volatility in the market like Monday.
In the long run it could mean a jump in interest rates, higher mortgage rates and higher interests on things like car loans and credit cards.
There are now four U.S. companies that have a higher credit rating than the federal government, Microsoft, Exxon Mobil, Johnson and Johnson and Automatic Data Processing.