Monday, July 29

Get Your Equifax Cash

equifax data breach website
I knew my wife had been part of the Equifax data breach because she left me in charge of trying to shore up her accounts. And she changed all her passwords to combinations that could not be remembered by human brains. So I knew we'd be filing a claim with Equifax online. I just didn't realize I'd be filing two, so that might be something most of us need to consider.


I remember getting the letter about my wife's credit because I had to prepare to tell her about it. She was in the midst of working a job that sucked, and any more stress was not a good idea. On top of that, we figured the main reason for her credit information to have been breached was the fact that banks had just accessed all the information when she bought the new house we were in to take that stressful job. We dealt with the problem and moved on. 

When I read that people affected by the Equifax data breach could get some compensation for the company giving away our information, we signed her up right away. $125 and two hours of time changing passwords and closing accounts. You can also get free credit monitoring for a set amount of time if you don't have it. If you want credit monitoring offered by the company that put your credit at risk.

So the wife was all set with a possible rebate from Equifax sometime in the next few months or years. I think it depends on how many people sign up by the end of 2019. Only people affected should be able to fill out a claim. That's why I also decided to try my own name and social security combo to see if I qualified. And I did! That was news to me, since I do not remember getting the same letter as my wife. Granted, I was much more concerned about her sanity than my own at the time, so perhaps I just disregarded my own credit warning. Or I never got one because Equifax really is that bad. I don't know, but I was able to sign myself up for the same $125. I didn't add the time for changing passwords and whatnot because I did not do that. However, right around that time, someone did use my identity with one of my old bank cards, so that hassle was probably related, even though that bank tried to blame me instead.

It's possible that my wife's information being breached led to some of mine being part of the lost data, putting me on the list even without being notified back when the whole fiasco was revealed. Point is that if I had just assumed my wife's data breach was the only one in the family, I would have lost out on free credit monitoring or cash for myself. I'd recommend everyone fill out the form to see if Equifax believes you deserve compensation for its mistakes. If you do qualify and had not received a letter, then you also might want to go back and change some passwords or close some old accounts, even if it seems a bit late now. It's probably never a wrong time to choose a new password.

[UPDATE]

I read that people should probably take the free credit monitoring rather than the cash and that almost no one will get more than $125. I'll probably get an email asking me to change my submission. Lucky for me, I'll probably be getting monitoring from another bank shortly. Maybe credit monitoring is just going to be a standard service like garbage pickup in the future, since it seems like these companies can't figure out how to keep us from eventually needing the monitoring. 


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