In the Fall of 2017, Equifax, one of the largest credit reporting agencies, announced a data breach that exposed the personal information (names, social security numbers, birth dates, etc) of 147 million people. Earlier this week, Equifax agreed to a global settlement which includes up to $425 million to help people affected by the data breach.
Find out if you were affected by the Equifax Data Breach
Go to this link to check if your personal information was impacted by the Equifax data breach and to find out if you are a class member.
You will be prompted to enter your last name along with the last six digits of your social security number.
How to File a Claim for the Equifax Data Breach
If your personal information was impacted by the incident, you can go to this link to file a claim online (it takes less than five minutes)! Alternatively, you can file a claim by mailing in the form to the Settlement Administrator.
Step 1: Fill out your Personal Information (Name, Address, Phone, Email, Year of Birth). Equifax needs this information to confirm their records and ultimately send you your settlement payment.
Step 2: Select whether you want to receive up to ten years of free credit monitoring OR a cash payment of $125.
Step 3: If you selected cash payment, you will be asked how you would like to receive your cash payment: check or prepaid card.
Step 4: Confirm your claim summary by electronically signing your name and clicking “Submit.”
If you spent any time recovering from fraud or identity theft due to the Equifax data breach, then you are eligible to receive $25 per hour for up to 20 hours. Similarly, if you lost money recovering from fraud or identity theft due to the Equifax data breach, then you are eligible to receive reimbursement up to $20,000. You will need to provide supporting documentation evidencing how your personal information was inappropriately used or evidencing the amount of money lost.
The deadline to file a claim is January 22, 2020.
When will I receive my benefits?
The settlement administrator will not send out any benefits until they are allowed to do so by the court, which will be January 23, 2020, at the earliest.
What We Did
We both submitted our information and confirmed that our personal data was impacted by the data breach. We both chose to receive the $125 payment via check, because we already have credit monitoring in place.
Additional Way to Protect Yourself
In addition, we placed a credit freeze on our accounts. A credit freeze means creditors cannot access your credit report, making it unlikely that someone could open new accounts in your name. It is free to freeze your credit, and just requires you to notify your three credit reporting agencies:
Note: If your credit report needs to be pulled for a legitimate reason, such as opening a new credit card, obtaining a mortgage or auto loan, you will need to contact each credit reporting agency to temporarily “lift” the credit freeze. Although this is a bit of a hassle, it is easy to do and gives us peace of mind.
Was your personal information impacted by the Equifax Data Breach? How are you choosing to protect your identity going forward? Comment below and let us know!