Almost two years ago, in September of 2017, Equifax announced a data breach that exposed the personal information of 147 million people. Now a recent settlement includes help for consumers impacted by the breach.

A recent settlement includes help for consumers impacted by the breach.

Consumers who were affected by the breach may be eligible for compensation. They will need to prove that they were a fraud victim or that they spent a significant amount of time taking precautions to protect their identity.

If you were affected, benefits include:

  • At least 4 years of free credit monitoring of your credit reports at all 3 credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion) and identity theft insurance. Up to 6 additional years of free credit monitoring of your Equifax credit report.

  • If you decide not to enroll because you already have credit monitoring that will continue for at least 6 months, you may receive $125.

  • Reimbursements for your time and other cash payments up to $20,000. This includes expenses you paid as a result of the breach and time spent dealing with the breach.

  • For at least seven years, you can get free identity restoration services.

  • Starting in 2020, all U.S. consumers can get 6 additional free credit reports per year for 7 years from the Equifax website.

You must have documentation in order to make a claim. Documentation could be bank statements, credit card statements, invoices, telephone records, fraud related correspondence, records, and receipts.

If you were affected, you must file a claim with documentation once the claims process begins after court approval. A new website will be created to handle the claims. If you're not sure if you were affected, the website will also include a tool that you can use to check. This page from the FTC will keep you up to date on the process. You can sign up to get email updates on the page.