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Home / Tips and Tricks / Equifax Settlement owes you $ 125, but free credit monitoring may be a better deal

Equifax Settlement owes you $ 125, but free credit monitoring may be a better deal


Angela Lang / CNET

If you're reading this, you or someone you know is likely to be affected by the Equifax data breach of 201

7 which exposed 147 million people's personal information to hackers. (To verify that you were part of the violation – and therefore entitled to file a claim – visit the privacy breach site where you enter your last name and the last six digits of your social security number into the online form. ) And if you were involved in the breach, you probably know that, as part of the settlement between Equifax and the Federal Trade Commission, you are entitled to a claim for reimbursement of expenses and time spent repairing the breach.

The comparison allows you to submit claims for multiple benefits. So, when you submit for a service, you can not receive any additional benefits. And you have until January 22, 2020 to make an application.

While most claims that you can apply for are straightforward, you have at least one application to choose from: Apply for a credit check for $ 125 or 10 years . It's tempting to accept cash, but first think about what options you have.

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Should you take the $ 125 or free credit check?

You can file a claim for 10 years of free credit monitoring or, instead, apply for a $ 125 payment if you already have a service that performs credit monitoring when you apply for it. The following should be considered in the selection.

Option 1: Take the money after six months of surveillance and keep everything that is left after six months. To claim the $ 125, you must confirm that you are using a credit monitoring service at the time your claim is submitted and keep it for six months. Credit inquiry services can cost $ 10 to $ 30 a month – or you can use a free service such as Credit Karma – but if you choose one of the cheaper services, you can $ 60 or so away.

Option 2: Sign up for 10 years of credit monitoring and sleep better. $ 125 is a good sum. Ten years of a credit monitoring service could add up to $ 1,200 to $ 3,600 over time. Which is a bigger sum.

Of course, the choice you make is entirely up to you. We can not do it for you.

If you are the type who would like to hedge your bets, it would be good to sign up for a service for six months and then request payment. And if you're worried about identity theft and fraud at night, free 10-year surveillance may be the right choice to calm down. Whichever way you go, your choice does not preclude you from claiming for other benefits.

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