If you recently signed up to receive cash compensation from the credit bureau Equifax because you were caught up in their massive 2017 data breach, we have some important information.
Want cash compensation from Equifax? You must act by October 15
In an email sent to people who applied for cash compensation of up to $125 from the data breach settlement, Equifax now says it is requiring claimants to verify that they had “some form of credit monitoring or protection in place and will continue to have the credit monitoring in place for a minimum of six months” from the date they filed the claim.
Your other option is to amend your claim to request four years of credit monitoring instead of cash.
If you take no action at all, your claim for cash compensation will be denied.
If you applied for the cash compensation and this is the first you’re hearing about this, check your email inbox carefully. One member of Team Clark found the email in his Junk folder.
While Equifax doesn’t explicitly state what forms of credit monitoring are acceptable, it seems safe to assume that monitoring from companies like Credit Karma and Credit Sesame would be acceptable.
It is important to note that even if you do provide proof of monitoring, you still will probably not receive $125. As Equifax says in the email: “Depending on the number of valid claims that are filed, the amount you receive for alternative compensation may be a small percentage of your initial claim.”
You can verify or amend your claim by visiting the settlement website here.
Alternatively, you can verify or amend your claim by sending a letter with the name of your credit monitoring service along with your name, claim number and zip code to:
Equifax Data Breach Settlement
c/o JND Legal Administration
PO Box 91318
Seattle, WA 98111-9418
What to expect if you visit the Equifax settlement website to validate or amend your claim
When you click the link in the email to validate or amend your claim, you’ll arrive at the page above. From there, you’ll be asked to:
- Enter your claim number
- Enter your name and ZIP code
- Indicate whether you still want to receive the cash settlement; accept the four years of credit monitoring; or abandon your claim altogether
- Input the name of the credit monitoring service you use (if you choose the cash settlement offer)
- Affirm that the information you’ve provided is true and correct, then sign electronically
Reminder: Freeze your credit
Money expert Clark Howard says freezing your credit is the #1 way to protect your identity and financial information. If you haven’t done it yet, now would be a great time to take care of that.