Just like no one ever asked to be born, no one asked to have a credit score, and yet we all do. And now, unlike in your actual life, you may be entitled to financial compensation for simply having a credit score, thanks to Equifax.
Why you may ask? Payments in the 2017 Equifax data breach are finally being disbursed and users across social media are asking if they’re real, if so, are they getting a payment too? And why is the payment so small?
What was the Equifax data breach?
See, back in 2017, Equifax, one of the three major data brokers alongside Experian and TransUnion, got hacked, exposing the private records of 147 million Americans, and sparking a wave of identity theft incidents. Equifax and the other data brokers are in the business of information and sell your private information to help banks and landlords make money. That’s how credit agencies come up with your credit score.
U.S. indicts 4 Chinese military hackers for giant Equifax breach
Equifax has denied any wrongdoing, and agreed to a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission, creating $300 million for a victim compensation fund, and awarding $175 million to the states and territories in the agreement, and an additional $100 million in fines.
If you were a victim of said data breach, you are now eligible for a small sum of money that can be collected between January 23, 2020, and January 22, 2024. According to the Equifax Breach Settlement website, if you filed before January 22, 2020, you were entitled to up to $125 or free credit score monitoring.
Do I get a settlement and how much do I get?
If you were one of the millions of Americans affected by the Equifax hack, you can file a claim here(Opens in a new tab). However, don’t expect much. Users on social media who have received their payout from the credit agency are not thrilled, with the average sum received by most being $5.21. There are some who have received the enormous total of $22(Opens in a new tab), but most of us can expect about the equivalent of a one-month subscription to Peacock Premium.
Equifax issued the payments through virtual prepaid cards and is sending out emails to those who haven’t cashed out their settlement checks yet.