Why might you not receive $ 125 in the Equifax data breach settlement


You can get less money back in the settlement than you think.

Angela Lang / CNET

If your personal information was exposed as part of Equifax's data breach in 201[ads1]7, the $ 125 payout you may ask for doesn't come close to compensating you for the grief you went through to recover from the hacking. Still, there is something. However, the first week showed so much interest in filing a cash payment claim that the FTC has warned that if everyone qualified asks for the money option, the benefit will be "nowhere near $ 125."

The reason for the FTC is that while Equifax has agreed to pay up to $ 700 million to compensate 147 million victims of the data breach, the cash money allocated to the payment is $ 125 million. Instead of receiving an amount that is much less than $ 125, you have the option of getting 10 years of free credit monitoring. And that's the choice the FTC recommends you choose: "Frankly, free credit monitoring is worth a lot more – the market value will be hundreds of dollars a year," the FTC said. "And this monitoring service is probably stronger and more useful than any you already have."

As part of the settlement reached between the FTC and the free credit reporting company, you may also file a claim for reimbursement for time spent recovering from fraud and identity theft, money spent to protect you from breaches, and for the cost of Equifax's credit monitoring subscription. You can claim up to $ 20,000 in damages, provide documents and receipts to support your claim.

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We have a guide on how to choose from the options if you are thinking about which is the better choice for you. And if you've already filed your claim, the FTC said you can change your mind. Look for an email from the Settlement Administrator with instructions.

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