When Equifax, a credit reporting giant based in Atlanta, suffered a catastrophic data breach in 2017, millions of Americans were affected. The victims of this breach now run the risk of future identity theft, due to their data being exposed to criminals and even circulating the dark web. Though it’s impossible to rescind the damage that’s been done, Equifax has recently come to an agreement on a settlement for those affected by this crisis— and you might be eligible to receive a portion of it. 

Victims of the Equifax data breach are entitled to their choice of $125 or 10 years of free data monitoring. The process of claiming this settlement is relatively straightforward, and we’re here to guide you along. 

Equifax Claim Settlement Breach

Step One: Know your Resources

Given the nature of the situation, you might be a way of entering your personal details onto a website, so it’s good to know what the correct resources are.

Step Two: Check your Eligibility 

Before you file a claim, it’s important to determine whether or not you are eligible to receive a settlement. Some victims are already well-aware of their status, while others may not have realized their data was exposed. For the former, you can skip down to step three. For the latter group, checking your eligibility can be done online. You will have to enter some personal information, like your SSN, so be sure to use a link from a reputable source (like us!) Once you’ve confirmed that you are indeed eligible for a settlement, you can proceed to choose and file your claim. 

Step Three: Choose your SettlementBefore you choose your settlement, consider the benefits of both options. 

  • Money Settlement ($125)

Need an extra $125? If you already have appropriate data monitoring (which you might, if you were affected by another, smaller breach,) then it might be a good idea to go with the cash— which actually comes in the form of either a check or prepaid card. (FYI: the prepaid card will not expire, but you will need to deposit your check within a 3 month period of receiving it.) 

  • 10 Years of Credit Monitoring

As long as you comb through the fine print of the settlement, going for the credit monitoring option is a fine idea. After all, it is a long term prevention solution for catching any suspicious activity in your name. Given that your information might be out there, this is important to have access to, but, you actually might already have it. Other companies have experienced data breaches in recent years and have given victims free credit monitoring as a result. Do some digging before making your choice. 

Step Four: Submit Further Claims, if Necessary

In the wake of the data breach, some victims were hit harder than others. If you’ve undergone serious identity theft, financial loss, or other trauma as a result of the Equifax data breach, you could be entitled to much more than $125 or free credit monitoring. If you’ve spent additional money or time dealing with the fallout of identity theft thanks to the Equifax breach, you are likely eligible to file a loss or reimbursement claim. These claims can amount to large settlements of up to $20,000, so if you’ve experienced damage due to this data breach, it’s a wise idea to file a claim. 

Step Five: Keep Track of your Case

Make sure to keep a record of everything you do as you file this claim, and be sure to save your claim number. 

The deadline to claim your settlement for the Equifax breach is the 22nd of January, 2020.