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Important Message

What the Equifax Breach Settlement Means for You

Equifax has agreed to a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and 50 U.S. states and territories.

The settlement includes up to $425 million for people whose personal information was exposed in the 2017 Equifax Data Breach. You can now file a claim if you were affected. Remember, the breach affected about 147 million people—which is basically everyone with a credit history. 

How do I know if my information was exposed?
Equifax set up a settlement website where you can find out if you were affected, get answers to your questions, learn about claim options and—if you're ready—file a claim. You can also call Equifax at 1-833-759-2982 for more information. This FTC.gov page dedicated to the settlement is another important resource for those who are affected.

What should I do if I was affected? 
Be sure to read and understand the details, limitations and fine print before you submit a claim. Equifax is offering two claim options: free credit monitoring and identity theft protection services or you can request a cash payment for the time and money you spent dealing with the breach. 

Credit monitoring or cash?
If you opt to request cash payment, you'll likely only get a small percentage of the $125 that's mentioned on the settlement website. Millions of people filed claims in the first week alone and now affected consumers may only get a fraction of what they could've gotten if not for so many claims. And when you submit a claim for cash payment, you'll need to certify that you've signed up for credit monitoring that will continue for six months. 

The FTC and Equifax insist the credit monitoring is a better value than the cash payment. Everyone whose information was exposed can take advantage of the free credit monitoring. You're guaranteed at least four years of free monitoring and $1,000,000 of identity theft insurance if you file a valid claim before the deadline. You can still choose the cash option on the claim form but you won't be able to claim the free credit monitoring if you're disappointed with the amount you receive. 

You've got until January 22, 2020, to file a claim, so don't rush. Take your time, get information directly from the Equifax site and the FTC page and make sure you understand the details before you decide how to proceed. 

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