Nothing is really free in life but, if you were part of the Equifax data breach of 2017, you are entitled to a cash settlement starting at a minimum of $125 so here’s how to get it.
Here’s How to Get $125 For Free From Equifax
Back in 2017, Equifax had a massive data breach that ended up exposing social security numbers of nearly 150 million people. Unfortunately, I was one of the people and so was my husband.
Chances are, you are too.
So, if you hadn’t known about this or noticed anything from your credit report or identity being stolen, you are lucky but that still doesn’t mean you are in the clear.
Recently, Equifax reached a $700 million settelment in restitution and fines to settle with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Of that, $425 million will go to those who were affected by the breach – people like me and possibly you.
The starting point is $125 but you can get up to $20,000 in payment back for any fees you paid out to help recover from this breach.
In order to do that, you first need to see if you qualify.
Step 1 – Determine If Your Affected
Head over to the Equifax website. You’ll be asked to enter your last name and last 6 digits of your social security number.
Yes, this is legit and that info is required to determine if your data was released.
If you were affected, you’ll get a message like this (this was from my info) and you will need to head to step 2 to file a claim.
Step 2- File a Claim
Okay, now this is where you are able to file a claim and get payment for your data being breached.
Simply click the green “File A Claim” button and you’ll be redirected to a new page that looks like this:
Yes, this is entirely legit and it is NOT a scam.
Once you fill out the form, go to this page, now, this is very important. You have two options.
The first option is Credit Monitoring which you can choose to receive free, three-bureau credit monitoring.
The second option is a $125 Cash Payment where you will receive a one-time payment of $125 and certify that you have credit monitoring and will have it for at least 6 months from today.
Note: Choosing option 2 means you cannot also enroll in the free, three-bureau credit monitoring service offered through this Settlement.
I chose the $125 cash payment. If you choose that, you can then select to review either a check (that must be cashed within 90 days of receiving it) or a prepaid card that doesn’t expire.
Once that is selected, follow the prompts and go to end where you click submit. You will then receive a confirmation number that you’ll want to write down or print out for future reference.
Remember, if you had your identity stolen and hired an attorney, paid for credit monitoring, paid for fraud protection, etc. you can include all of that time and fees into this settlement so pay attention to each page and read it throughly. However, most of us won’t have those additional fees and will just be applying for the $125 or free credit monitoring service.
Now, if you are wondering WHEN you will receive this settlement amount, here is the information found right on the FAQ section of Equifax’s website:
Credit Monitoring Services claimed by Settlement Class Members will begin, and payments for valid claims will be made, after the Court enters a final judgment and the settlement becomes final. This may take several months or more; please be patient. Once there is a final judgment, it will be posted here.
If you make a valid claim for Credit Monitoring Services, the Settlement Administrator will send you information on how to activate your credit monitoring once the settlement is final. The Settlement Administrator will provide you with an activation code and link to the Experian website where you can enroll and activate your Credit Monitoring Services:
Checks or pre-paid cards for valid claims for Out-of-Pocket Losses, Time Spent, and Alternative Reimbursement Compensation will be mailed by the Settlement Administrator to the mailing address that you provide.
I know this isn’t the best reason to be getting free money (and it’s technically owed to you so not really free) but it is at least something!