In September 2017, Equifax announced a breach that exposed the personal data of approximately 147 million people. Last month, along with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and 48 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, we announced a global settlement that will provide up to $425 million in monetary relief to consumers.
Eligibility for credit monitoringUnder the settlement, all U.S. consumers may request up to six free copies of their Equifax credit report during any 12-month period, starting in January 2020 and extending for seven years. These reports are available in addition to free reports you are entitled to under federal law.
If you were impacted by the breach, then you are eligible to receive at least 10 years of free credit monitoring and at least seven years of free identity-restoration services. If you were affected and choose not to enroll in the free credit monitoring, you may seek up to $125 if you have an alternative credit monitoring service that will continue for at least six months from the date of your claim. The amount provided to consumers will depend on the number of approved claims for this monetary compensation. You may receive substantially less than $125, depending on the number of claims filed.
Claiming payments and reimbursementsIf you were affected, you can also get up to $20,000 for lost time and money, including:
- Up to $25 per hour for up to 20 hours for your time spent protecting personal information or addressing identity theft after the breach; if claims rates for time compensation are high, you may get less than the amount you submitted for reimbursement
- Money you spent purchasing credit monitoring or identity theft protection after the breach
- The cost of freezing or unfreezing your credit reports at any consumer reporting agency after the breach
- Reimbursement for up to 25 percent of the amount you paid to Equifax for credit or identity monitoring subscription products between September 7, 2016 and September 7, 2017
- Any unreimbursed costs, expenses, losses, or charges you incurred as a result of identity theft
- Miscellaneous expenses you paid because of any of the above, such as notary, fax, postage, mileage, and telephone charges