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In 2017, there was a massive data breach with Equifax and during that time, it’s likely you were among the millions of people that had their personal information exposed.
Finally, two years later, Equifax has reached a $700 million settlement and if your information was compromised, you are entitled to some of that starting with $125.
Equifax Probably Owes You at Least a Hundred Dollars. Here’s How to Get It.
The first thing that you need to do is determine whether or not your information was compromised.
All you do is head over the Equifax Website and use their eligibility tool.
Input your information and it will tell you if you were among those affected.
If you are not, you don’t get any money but if you are, you will head onto the next step to file a claim and receive a cash compensation due to the breach.
If you are affected, you will need to file a claim on the Equifax website by clicking on the blue button that says “file claim”.
According to the website:
Free Credit Monitoring and Identity Theft Protection Services
- Up to 10 years of free credit monitoring OR $125 if you decide not to enroll because you already have credit monitoring. The free credit monitoring includes:
- At least four years of free monitoring of your credit report at all three credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) and $1,000,000 of identity theft insurance.
- Up to six more years of free monitoring of your Equifax credit report.
- If you were a minor in May 2017, you are eligible for a total of 18 years of free credit monitoring.
Cash Payments (capped at $20,000 per person)
- For expenses you paid as a result of the breach, like:
- Losses from unauthorized charges to your accounts
- The cost of freezing or unfreezing your credit report
- The cost of credit monitoring
- Fees you paid to professionals like an accountant or attorney
- Other expenses like notary fees, document shipping fees and postage, mileage, and phone charges
- For the time you spent dealing with the breach. You can be compensated $25 per hour up to 20 hours.
- If you submit a claim for 10 hours or less, you must describe the actions you took and the time you spent doing those things.
- If you claim more than 10 hours, you must describe the actions you took AND provide documents that show identity theft, fraud, or other misuse of your information.
- For the cost of Equifax credit monitoring and related services you had between September 7, 2016, and September 7, 2017, capped at 25 percent of the total amount you paid.
Even if you do not file a claim, you can get:
Free Help Recovering from Identity Theft
- For at least seven years, you can get free identity restoration services. If you discover misuse of your personal information, call the settlement administrator at 1-833-759-2982. You will be given instructions for how to access free identity restoration services.
Free Credit Reports for All U.S. Consumers
- Starting in 2020, all U.S. consumers can get 6 free credit reports per year for 7 years from the Equifax website. That’s in addition to the one free Equifax report (plus your Experian and TransUnion reports) you can get at AnnualCreditReport.com. Sign up for email updates to get a reminder in early 2020.
Keep in mind you can only file a claim and ask for EITHER $125 + additional compensation for time and services paid for identity theft OR free credit monitoring.
Once you choose and submit your claim, write down the confirmation code you get at the end just in case you need it.