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Equifax May Owe You Some Money. Here’s How to Get It

Equifax has agreed to pay nearly $700 million for the 2017 data breach that exposed personal information like Social Security numbers of nearly 150 million people. And now, the victims will finally get a little money.

In a statement on Monday, Equifax said that the payout to consumers includes $425 million that will cover credit monitoring and out-of-pocket losses because of the breach, as well as the cost of "identity restoration services." Equifax will pay the remainder to the federal government.

The amount of money consumers will receive varies. But it could be as much as thousands of dollars, depending on how they were impacted.

Here's how:

Data breach recap

In 2017, Equifax had one of the largest data breaches in history. By the time Equifax discovered the hack, the hackers had taken the birth dates, credit card numbers, and Social Security numbers of millions of people.

Are you in the class?

The people eligible for benefits from the settlement are the 150 million people affected by the breach. You will be able to check whether you're among them after Exquifax debuts a tool to do so on the following web site.

Credit monitoring or cash?

Class members will first have the option of free credit monitoring for four years or a cash payment of $125. Those who'd prefer the cash must already have credit monitoring in place for at least six more months. People who have less than six months of credit monitoring left, don't qualify for the payment.

A $20,000 payment

Equifax will also pay $20,000 to consumers who can prove that they suffered "fraud, identity theft, or other misuse" because of the data breach. Equifax will also pay them $25 per hour for up to 20 hours of time they had spent trying to safeguard their data. Equifax will also reimburse them for out-of-pocket losses and up to 25% of the cost of Equifax credit or identity monitoring. Exactly how Equifax will require consumers verify their costs is unknown.

Get your identity back

Equifax will be covering free Identity Restoration services for no fewer than seven years to anyone affected by the data breach. Equifax didn't say what those services were, but it did say it would help to "remedy the effects of identity theft and fraud."

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