The more than 147 million people whose data were exposed in a 2017 Equifax data breach are entitled to money or free credit monitoring, but time is running out to file a claim for it.
Under a $700-million settlement between the credit rating firm and the Federal Trade Commission, affected people — including 15 million Californians — can submit a claim for up to $125 or up to 10 years of credit monitoring.
But the payout might be far less than $125 — perhaps less than $10. That’s because so many people have been filing claims for the cash, divvying up the $31-million pot of money that pays for these claims out of the $700-million overall settlement into smaller and smaller pieces.
The free credit monitoring provides four years of monitoring from Experian that covers the three major credit rating firms: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Robert Schoshinski, an assistant director at the FTC, encouraged people to opt for the free credit monitoring in a July blog post. But some experts have said the cash payout, even if it’s small, is a better option.
People who spent time or money to recover from the breach may be able to claim up to $20,000.