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In September of 2017, Equifax announced a data breach that exposed the personal information of 147 million people. Under a settlement filed today, Equifax agreed to spend up to $425 million to help people affected by the data breach. If you were affected by the Equifax breach, you can't file a claim just yet. That's coming. But you can sign up for FTC email alerts about the settlement at

(Not sure that you were affected? The breach claims site will have a tool to let you check. Sign up for an FTC email update to find out when that tool is up and running.)

Here’s what you need to know about the settlement.

Benefits Available To You

If you were affected by the breach, you may be eligible for benefits.

1. Free Credit Monitoring or Cash Payment

You can get at least 4 years of free credit monitoring of your credit report at all three credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion). On top of that, you can get up to 6 more years of free credit monitoring of your Equifax credit report. That’s a total of 10 years of free credit monitoring. (Minors affected by the breach are eligible for even more free credit monitoring.)

If you have credit monitoring that will continue for at least 6 months and you decide not to enroll in the free credit monitoring offered in the settlement, you may be eligible for a cash payment. The amount you’d get will depend on the number of claims filed.

2. Reimbursement for Your Time and Other Cash Payments

You may be eligible for reimbursement and cash payments up to $20,000 for:

  • time you spent protecting your identity or recovering from identity theft, up to 20 hours at $25 per hour
  • money you spent protecting your identity or recovering from identity theft, like the cost of freezing or unfreezing your credit report or unauthorized charges to your accounts
  • up to 25% of the cost of Equifax credit monitoring or identity protection products you bought between September 7, 2016 and September 7, 2017

3. Free Identity Restoration Services

You are eligible for free identity restoration services for at least 7 years that you can use if someone steals your identity or you experience fraud.

Next Steps

The claims process will start after court approval. To learn more about the settlement, go to We’ll update that page when there’s new information.

You can also sign up to get FTC email updates about this settlement.

If you were affected by the breach, you may also receive an email notification after the court approves the settlement. The notification will provide more information about the settlement, the benefits available to people impacted, and how to request the services offered under the settlement.

This blog post was updated on August 1, 2019.

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July 22, 2019
How do I know if I'm affected?
FTC Staff
July 22, 2019

In reply to by Mphelan

An affected consumer is any person whose information was exposed in the Equifax data breach.

You might already know whether your information was exposed in the data breach. If you don't, the breach claims site will have a tool to let you check whether your information was exposed. The claims site will open after a court approves the claims approval process. 

FTC Staff
July 23, 2019

In reply to by Ronald Hine

When the claims process starts, the claims website will have a tool you can use to find out whether you were affected.

The claims process will start after a court approves it. The FTC has more questions and answers at

September 10, 2019

In reply to by rapidj1Don't u…

Hiew do I know if I am a part if this data breach I recall placing a request by sign up fpr Equifax monitoring and Experian
FTC Staff
July 24, 2019

In reply to by KIRK

You can use this look-up tool to see if your information was exposed in the data breach. Get more information at

last 6 digits?
September 04, 2019

In reply to by Mphelan

The eligibility email I received asks for my last name and last 6 digits of my social. I’m uncomfortable doing that. Is that really required or is this another scam?
July 22, 2019
We keep hearing about this, however, NEVER once did you give us a link to check on this WITHOUT giving all the info that hackers need to do it all over again.
FTC Staff
July 22, 2019

In reply to by Squirrelena

What would you like to check? When you sign up for email from the FTC, the only information you need to give is your email address.

You can sign to get FTC email updates about the Equifax settlement. The settlement claims process will start after a court approves it.

July 22, 2019
Scammers will likely use this news to "help" people get their refund. Do not under any circumstances respond to an unsolicited call or email offering to process your refund. Only trust information provided in this website.
July 22, 2019
Problem is that the data is compromised forever. Even if you have had no ill-effects so far, you could in the future.
July 26, 2019

In reply to by RetiredCreditC…

That's my question as well. If in the future I am victim of fraud will they still help me even though I took the cash (which I didn't)
Joanne G.
July 22, 2019
I don't think the settlement should ONLY go to people who have already been affected, but to EVERYONE that was found to have been affected because we don't know what costs we may incur in the future. I have already found my name in the dark web several times. Who knows how much more money I will incur in the future. Who can answer that question for me?
FTC Staff
July 22, 2019

In reply to by Joanne G.

An affected consumer is any person whose information was exposed in the Equifax data breach.

You might already know whether your information was exposed in the data breach. If you don't, the breach claims site will have a tool to let you check whether your information was exposed. The claims site will open after a court approves the claims approval process. 

January 05, 2021

In reply to by Rmonte

Yes, and mine is totally destroyed as well. Total refund, if decided for me, is $20,000.00. I lost Thousands more and had 27 NSF's the following day and 27 charges of $30.00 from each creditor because my bank statement was $0.00 due to the Equifax hack. Equifax needs to reimburse EACH member the full amount lost and restore our credit rating to what it was originally before the hack.
Auntie T
July 22, 2019
I had to change my address several times. It is a mess right now.
July 23, 2019
I want this free monitoring for my lifetime since that's what the data breach has cost me and my husband and daughter. We can be a victim as long as we live!
FTC Staff
July 23, 2019

In reply to by CONCERNED Rn't…

If your daughter was under age 18 in May 2017, she is eligible for a total of 18 years of free credit monitoring. Read more at

July 29, 2019

In reply to by CONCERNED Rn't…

Why would anyone want a company that has been hacked TWICE to monitor them again? Also, you don't need 6 digits of anyone's ss# to check for them. . .only hackers do
this is a life…
July 22, 2019
Of course there will be more identity thief from this breech after the 10 year coverage...What then?
July 31, 2019

In reply to by this is a life…

Everyone that was affected by this data breach should receive live long credit monitoring with 100% insurance if affiliated by identity fraught. 29 years is a joke since anyone could fall victim right after the payed for period expires. Furthermore they might be banking on ppl signing U.K. and paying fir identity protection services making billions of dollars on they’d negligence!
July 22, 2019
To the best of my knowledge, I was not among those who affected - at least based on their original info site. I wasn't very comfortable with what that site asked, so I will check again after the court approves the plan. In the meantime, it's a crying shame that Equifax was allowed to remain in business after their dereliction of duty and the selfish actions taken by those in charge of that company.
Marty 215
July 22, 2019
That’s great $125 , and a life long worry about the breach. Feeling like I was sold out.
FTC Staff
July 23, 2019

In reply to by Marty 215

If your information was exposed in the data breach, you can request $125 if you decide not to enroll in free credit monitoring, because you already have credit monitoring. Or, you can request up to 10 years of free credit monitoring. You may also request:

  • Cash Payments (capped at $20,000 per person)
  • Free Help Recovering from Identity Theft
  • Free Credit Reports for all U.S. consumers, starting in 2020. All U.S. consumers can get 6 additional free credit reports per year for 7 years from the Equifax website.
July 22, 2019
I’ll take the $125 dollors thank you very much. Credit monitoring is a scam. You have to submit all your data to a company that has been hacked in the past. I’ve been offered this free service a half-dozen times in the last couple of years - i’ve had my data stolen that many times. These companies have to be hit where it hurts - a significant fine (this one is NOT) or be forbidden to continue to operate in that line of business. With so little downside to being sloppy with security, why would they implement effective security procedures? That costs more. I’m in the computer security business and I am shocked at how little attention and expense is placed on securing our data.
Yeah Right...
July 22, 2019
I have no doubt that the VERY SAME HACKERS are licking their chops, just patiently waiting for the online claims process' floodgates to open...and they will breach that site & it's "safety measures" as well. Sorry, but I still have "PTSD" from the initial breach and DO NOT in any way trust Equifax to handle this properly. #dejavu #FoolMeOnce.... #YouKnowTheRest
July 22, 2019
I have been breached 6 times by the state, mobile phone company, equifax, email yahoo and others. I don't know where I can get help to protect my identity, and personal information from scammers. My tax refund was held from me and they are still processing my refund since January. No one helping me find out the cause.
mimi of 10
July 22, 2019
I know we got a letter saying ours was possibly one of the ones compromised and then my bank sent me an alert that my e-mail had been found on the black web and my husbands card was being charged for stuff we didn't by from Paris, France.....good thing my bank is smarter than the thiefs… like I know someone in yea I would say ...we were one of the comprised ones
July 23, 2019
It is important the claim system/process has a way to prevent hackers from claiming the $125 using the identity info they have stolen in 2017
July 23, 2019
I’m sorry but I think it’s good Equifax has to reimburse for the garbage I went through since that happened to me and I received the letter. The crooks waited for about a year and then nailed me from Miami. Omg. It’s awful. Two were recently. I just don’t bother anymore and I’m not paying for a service to protect identity theft when in reality, no one can protect it. Let’s see what comes true. They put the press release out. Reality is a way different thing with corporate America. I did my own investigation on it. I was mad when something actually happened.
July 23, 2019
This is not enough. What a sham. They gave away my most private data and it will cost them virtually nothing. They had a huge responsibility to protect this data and they did not take it seriously. The punitive damages should remove any profit they made from our data for at least 5 years. If there is no real consequence for not protecting data this sensitive, there is no incentive for the company to beef up security to the appropriate level.
July 23, 2019
After the breach occurred Equifax took forever to take corrective steps. First thing that happened is their website went down. Then when they put a link to freeze your credit the link did not work. Seems like I spent hours trying to protect myself using the free tools available. If there is anything good that came out of this, is that now we can all freeze our credit for free. This has been long overdue.
July 23, 2019
OK, I am a Prime example. 1-Police Report, 2-Report to the Company or Bank, 3-Fill out letter from the Federal Trade Commission-Identity , 4-Send all documents to the Creditor, and Credit Bureau's . Which I did. The Credit Bureau's will freeze your credit report for 1 year. This took me an EXTREME amount of time and effort. Paying for my Police Report, faxing, and mailing. WHAT A PAIN.
Vuk D.
July 23, 2019
There should be a free credit protection for every single person in this country. I didn’t choose to have a SSN that can be used against me if stolen. There has to be a better system that won’t bankrupt innocent people. How about having politicians who care about making out lives easier for real?
July 23, 2019
This settlement is bad. When the "breach" (giveaway) of data was exposed I read the "End User Agreement" that Equifax offered for free data protection and it specifically stated that using their service would remove all liability - they would watch but not their problem. (I apologize if this is a re-post)
Feelin violated
July 24, 2019
This sucks. WHY CANT THE US SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINS change the social security numbers for those of us whom " were forced to trust Equifax as a credit beauro, and were literally fired. Now I have to move all my info is in the dark web and lots of crazy stuff on other side of the planet under my and other peoples names. Let us change our Social security numbers and put EQUI-HACKS out of business. Pur lives and kids future are at big risk along with others. Please , if a criminal on the street breaks a crime he goes to jail. But when a company isnt protecting our private info and says they are that's attempted theft by fraud. Why isnt Equifax closed for good? We have rights , statutes, and our
July 25, 2019

In reply to by Feelin violated

I agree. The affected ppl SHOULD be assigned new SS#. But I guess that would make too much sense, so that's why we're stuck with the same tainted SS#.
Millie Sue
October 02, 2019

In reply to by Feelin violated

I did everything I was supposed to do my social security number was breached I showed that I had credit monitoring by credit karma when asked who I was using I am also using Experian and lending tree since then I have been hacked when will I get my $125 check since I already had the credit monitoring
FTC Staff
October 08, 2019

In reply to by Millie Sue

Frequently Asked Question #19 on the settlement website says payments for valid claims will be made after the Court enters a final judgment and the settlement becomes final.  Checks or pre-paid cards for valid claims for out-of-pocket Losses, time spent, and alternative reimbursement compensation will be mailed by the Settlement Administrator to the mailing address that you gave.

January 15, 2020

In reply to by Millie Sue

You get reimbursed if show proof of payment