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Applied for an HSBC product on Wednesday? Check you weren't wrongly declined

Some people who applied for HSBC credit cards, mortgages or loans on Wednesday 23 January were wrongly rejected due to problems with credit checks – if you made an application, here's what you need to know.

Some applicants were rejected for HSBC credit cards, loans or mortgages, even if they would have usually been accepted. HSBC says applications for current accounts and overdrafts were not affected.

HSBC says that no marks were made on the credit files of wrongly rejected applicants, so their credit scores should not be damaged.

It says the issues were resolved overnight and prospective customers should now be able to apply for products as usual, but it refused to tell us how many people had been affected.

While there was a message displayed on the HSBC website about the issues on Wednesday night, this has now been removed – and the bank hasn't yet proactively contacted affected customers to let them know what's happened.

So if you applied for a credit card, mortgage or loan through HSBC on Wednesday, double-check the status of your application to see if you've been affected.

See our Credit Scores guide for help understanding your credit file.

What happened?

When you apply for credit or certain financial products, the bank or credit provider will use information from one of the three main credit reference agencies – Callcredit, Equifax and Experian – to check your details and credit history.

HSBC's credit reference agency is Experian, but problems meant some applications made yesterday were wrongly rejected.

Several major banks use Experian for credit checks – but Experian says only HSBC was affected by this issue, and it worked to fix it by Wednesday evening.

Applying for a credit card, loan or mortgage is typically a "hard search", which leaves a mark on your credit file. Too many searches close together can scupper your chances of being accepted for the best products – but HSBC has confirmed that no mark will have been created on customers' credit files if they were wrongly rejected on Wednesday.

I've been declined – what can I do?

HSBC says customers who were wrongly rejected on Wednesday can apply again now, and as their credit file should not have been marked they shouldn't face problems as a result of making two applications close together.

We've asked HSBC to clarify if the credit files of customers who were correctly rejected will be marked and will update this story when we hear back. In the meantime, it may be best to first try to check if you were wrongly rejected by contacting HSBC.

You can also use our Credit Club to see your chances of being accepted for a product before you apply.

If you think you may have been affected, it would also be worth keeping a close eye on your credit score.

What does HSBC say?

An HSBC spokesperson said: "We experienced issues processing credit card, loan and mortgage applications on Wednesday with some being incorrectly declined.

"The issue has now been rectified by Experian and we apologise to all customers impacted for the inconvenience. Please be assured customers' credit ratings will not be affected.

"Applications for current accounts and overdrafts have not been affected."

What to read next...

For more help understanding your credit score and finding the best credit products, see:

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