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To claim $ 125 from the Equifax Data Breach Settlement

It's been more than two years since Equifax, one of the top three credit bureaus in the United States, has suffered a serious data breach, divulging information from 143 million people. Although we see many privacy breaches in this case, the thieves have stored a dangerous amount of personal information, including social security numbers, addresses, dates of birth, and driving license numbers. This is especially dangerous because it's all a thief needs to steal your identity and open credit accounts on your behalf.

Although there is no way to make your information private again, Equifax has reached an agreement with the FTC that offers a low payout for anyone who was a victim of the injury. You can either make a cash payment of $ 1

25 or use 10 years of free credit monitoring to alert you to possible identity theft.

What do you need to do to claim your $ 125?

You can check the Equifax billing website to see if your data has been stolen and if you are eligible to pay. Simply enter your last name and the last six digits of your social security number and you'll see if you qualify for credit monitoring or a cash payment of your choice.

Do you want a credit check or cash payment?

The fact that this breach also includes social security numbers makes identity theft a huge risk. Once your SSN is in someone else's hands, you need to monitor your credit report more closely to make sure no one opens fraudulent accounts on your behalf. You can also set up a "security freeze" for all three major credit bureaus, Equifax, TransUnion and Experian, as well as the lesser known Innovis. A security stop prevents credit reporting agencies from publishing your credit report without your consent, so no one can apply for credit on your behalf. However, it is also more cumbersome to apply for a loan, credit card or mortgage. So remember, if you are about to buy a house or finance a car. You must freeze by signing in to your account with a PIN that you have given when freezing.

You can monitor your credit report for free by requesting your credit report from AnnualCreditReport.com and checking for errors. If something is wrong, you can report it and have it repaired immediately before much damage is done. The problem is that you have to remember to do this on a regular basis and this is where credit monitoring services come into play. Keep an eye on your credit report and alert you to unusual activity as it happens. After some of the damage has already occurred and you still need to check if the activity is fraudulent, you must report it. However, credit monitoring quickly informs you. Regardless of whether you opt for credit monitoring or cash settlement, Equifax offers free assistance in recovering identity theft. If you see signs of identity theft, you are not alone.

Credit monitoring can cost $ 10 to $ 20 a month, which is much more than the $ 125 Equifax, which will pay you in cash. However, if you already have credit monitoring or are DIY-type and would prefer to stay in control, cash is a good option.

You may be eligible for more than $ 125

If you have been the victim of an identity theft as a result of the Equifax violation, you may be eligible for a higher payment to cover your time and expenses, up to a maximum of $ 20,000. You'll need to provide documentation of your identity theft expenditures that might cause you a headache. However, if you have had additional expenses in connection with this breach, it is worth reimbursing them.

How To Get Billing Services

You can submit a claim online or download application forms by email. Online Filing is the simplest option and only takes a few minutes. An online form will guide you through the information you need to provide, including any additional costs. With a few clicks you are done.

You must file your claim by January 22, 2020, and we recommend doing so now so you do not forget it.

When will I get my benefits?

The settlement must be approved by the court before cash or credit monitoring services are provided. This can take several months. If you choose to pay in cash, you will receive a check or pre-paid debit card by post (at your option). If you choose credit monitoring, you will receive an email with an activation code to sign up online.

To find out when the comparison was approved, you can sign up for FTC e-mail updates.

[Image credit: gavel and cash via BigStockPhoto]

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