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Equifax data breach settlement

In 2017, Equifax announced a breach that exposed the personal data of approximately 147 million people. Payments for claims filed for out-of-pocket losses, time spent, and other cash benefits are now being sent. If you filed a claim, keep an eye out for your payment.

Status of financial reimbursement

Cash reimbursement requests for payment (to repay money you lost, or pay for time you spent recovering from the data breach) that were submitted before the deadline of January 22, 2022, are scheduled to be sent starting in mid-December 2022. You’ll receive the payment in the form you requested when you filed your claim—check, PayPal transfer to your account, or prepaid card. For more details and to check your claim status, visit .

You can still request financial reimbursement

If your data was part of the breach and you had to spend time or money recovering from it between January 23, 2020, and January 22, 2024, there is an extended period to claim reimbursement. You can fill out the form at

You can request a reimbursement for money spent on things such as:

  • Certain Equifax products purchased before the breach
  • Freezing or unfreezing your credit
  • Credit monitoring services
  • Dealing with fraud or identity theft after the breach

You can also request payment if you spent time on things such as:

  • Placing credit freezes
  • Buying credit monitoring services
  • Dealing with fraud or identity theft after the breach

No-cost help in case of identity theft

Everyone affected by the data breach can receive free identity restoration services from Experian, if you discover your personal information was misused. You can use these services even if you never filed a claim for other benefits. To get started, use the look-up tool to confirm that you were affected by the breach. After you’ve entered your information, you’ll see the phone number to call Experian for help, and the engagement number to give them.

When you call, you’ll be assigned to a certified Identity Theft Restoration Specialist who can work with you. The specialist can help you with a step-by-step process to deal with companies, government agencies, and credit reporting companies.

Steps you can take to protect yourself

Check your credit reports on your own

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the three nationwide credit reporting companies, Equifax, Experian, and Transunion, are currently offering free weekly access to your credit reports online at . You can also request up to seven free reports per year through Equifax until 2026.

According to a Federal Trade Commission study, one person in five finds an error in their credit reports. When you check yours, be prepared to take steps to fix incorrect information. Our information on credit reports and sample dispute letters can help you with this process.

Consider placing an initial fraud alert on your credit file

Another way to protect your credit proactively is to place a fraud alert on your file. To do this, you can contact any of the three credit reporting companies. The credit reporting company you make the report to must communicate your alert to the other two credit reporting companies.

An initial fraud alert requires lenders to take reasonable steps to make sure the person making new credit requests in your name is actually you. For example, they may call you if you’ve provided a telephone number on your credit file. An initial fraud alert lasts for one year.

Consider freezing your credit

One way to protect your credit proactively is to contact the three credit reporting companies and place a freeze on your credit. When you freeze your credit, lenders won’t be able to access your credit information. If you apply for things like employment, apartments, or insurance, necessary credit checks can still go through.

You can unfreeze your credit when you’re ready to seek a loan or another transaction that requires a lender to pull your credit report. You’re the only one who can request to lift the credit freeze on your file. Lifting a freeze can take time, so choose this approach only if you’re not currently thinking about taking out a new loan or credit account.