Equifax violation: Your settlement questions, answered

The settlement of up to $ 700 million includes as much as $ 425 million for individual compensation. With so many Americans affected, it is very likely that you will qualify for some form of compensation as a result of settlement.

And with so many names, addresses, date of birth and social security number leaked, you may still be at risk of identity theft in the long run.

Here's what you need to know.

The Equifax Data Breach Settlement website has a lookup tool where you can find out if your data was compromised.

How do I make it money?

If you want to get 10 years of free credit monitoring – or $ 125 if you already have ongoing credit monitoring ̵[ads1]1; you can make a claim.

You can choose to receive the payment at home by check or debit card after final court approval, which is set for December 19.

What if my identity was stolen?

Per the settlement, you are eligible for seven years of "free identity theft services," according to the FTC. If you find that your personal information has been misused, you can call the FTC's settlement administrator for assistance.

Should I opt out?

Opting out of the settlement means that you do not lose your rights against Equifax and can still file your own lawsuit against the company.

Those who can prove that they hit above $ 125 can get $ 25 for each hour spent pulling their lives together after an Equifax-related identity theft. This deal is limited to $ 20,000. Do not select away if you want that option.

If you believe your personal injuries as a result of the data breach exceed $ 20,000, it may be an option to speak with your attorney about a suit of your own. But you have to make sure you opt out of this settlement class first.

How do I exclude?

If you are one of the Americans whose data was postponed, you can send a letter filing an "exclusion request" postmarked no later than November 19th.

Excluding yourself means that you would retain your rights to sue Equifax on your own if you chose to, based on claims related to 2017 data breaches.

What if I do nothing?

If you do nothing, you give up the right to sue Equifax in the future, and you give up the $ 125 or 10 years of free credit monitoring provided by the settlement.

Your deadline to opt out is November 19, and your deadline for filing a claim based on this settlement is January 22.

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