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Affected by the 2017 Equifax data breach? Here's how to file a claim

The credit reporting agency reached a $700 million settlement with the U.S. government.
In 2017, a data breach at Equifax exposed the personal information of millions of customers.Getty Images
/ Source: TODAY

If you were one of the more than 140 million Americans affected by the 2017 Equifax data breach, there's some very important information you need to know, including how to file a claim for reimbursement.

Equifax agreed to a class action settlement on Monday in which they will pay up to $700 million in claims, with up to $425 million set aside specifically to reimburse the over 50 percent of Americans whose names, addresses, Social Security numbers, birth dates, credit card numbers and even driver's license information were compromised by hackers.

To see if you have been impacted, start by going to the Equifax data breach settlement website and enter your last name and the last six digits of your Social Security number in the search tool. You'll be able to see if you qualify as a class action member and can file a claim. You can also call the settlement administrator at 1-833-759-2982.

If you were impacted by the data breach, here's what you may be entitled to:

Free credit monitoring or $125 cash payment — You can file a claim for up to 10 years of free credit monitoring from all three major credit monitoring bureaus or $125 if you already have credit monitoring.

Other cash payments — You can also file a claim for up to $20,000 to cover time spent addressing your losses as a result of the breach.

Free identity restoration services — You may also be eligible for at least seven years of services to remedy the effects of identity theft or fraud.

“This comprehensive settlement is a positive step for U.S. consumers and Equifax as we move forward from the 2017 cybersecurity incident,” Equifax CEO Mark Begor said in a statement.

"We have been committed to resolving this issue for consumers and have the financial capacity to manage the settlement,” he continued.

The best way to file your claim is through the website, (Remember not to put your personal information into any other website except this one!)

You can also request a claim form to be mailed to you or print and mail the claim form to: Equifax Data Breach Settlement Administrator c/o JND Legal Administration, P.O. Box 91318 Seattle, WA 98111-9418. The deadline to file a claim is January 22, 2020 so don't delay.