Those affected by Equifax data breach can now apply for compensation

Those affected by Equifax data breach can now apply for compensation
Equifax data breach

NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - Those significantly impacted by a data breach at the credit reporting agency Equifax, could get up to $20,000.

In September of 2017, Equifax announced a data breach that leaked personal information of about 147 million people.

The Federal Trade Commission ruled Monday that the credit reporting agency will have to pay up to $700 million in individual compensation and civil penalties because of the hack.

“Individuals are able to get compensated, and it really depends on your certain situation. For individuals who were directly impacted, they can get up to $20,000, or you may get free monitoring or a check for $125, but it depends on how you were impacted with this credit breach,” CPA Kemberley Washington said.

Consumers can check whether their personal information was affected by going on the Equifax data breach settlement website, enter their last names and the last six digits of their social security numbers.

"If you have a minor or a younger child who was also impacted, there's also forms on their website that you can download and utilize so you can make certain that your children are taken care of as well," Washington said.

For some, it's the first they're hearing of this.

"It's cool that you let me go and check and see, but it doesn't give me enough information for me to know exactly how my credit was impacted for me to follow up," Taryn Dunn said.

"The credit monitoring is going to be more valuable to me than kind of getting the money back on that aspect. I'm in the process of refinancing my house, so the more access i can get to what's going on with my credit report is going to be helpful," Jerry Lenaz said.

Whether or not a consumer's credit was significantly impacted, their status may have changed in the past two years.

“You definitely want to go to their website, you want to check and see whether or not you were impacted because you bring up a good point. Maybe you were impacted, and not really knowing,” Washington said.

Equifax’s website says victims are eligible for at least seven years of free assisted identity restoration services.

The settlement benefits will not be available until after January.

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