The Government Says You ARE NOT Getting $125 for the Equifax Settlement. Can You Change & What to Choose Now!

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Equifax Data Breach Settlement Cash Option Warning

Equifax Data Breach Settlement Cash Option Warning

Last week we covered the class action settlement linked to the Equifax data breach case. The Equifax Data Breach Settlement cash option was very popular after the news broke, but that may be too good to be true. Before I go any further check out our article below with the full details and how to make a claim.

Massive Equifax Data Breach Settlement – You’re Probably Eligible for $125 & Possibly A LOT More!

Equifax Data Breach Settlement – Government Warning

As you can tell from our title we were excited and many of you were too. You could claim $125 if your information was leaked and even more money for time! Of course this is a settlement meaning all claimants are sharing a “pot” of money so to speak meaning the more people who file a claim the less each person gets. And that seems to be happening.

The FTC is not administering the settlement, however due to its popularity they setup a website to help consumers avoid getting tricked or scammed. On the FTC website they have a listing of FAQs along with links and descriptions on how to file a claim. Thanks to reader Jared in our Facebook group for pointing this out:

Equifax Data Breach Settlement Cash Option Warning

Let me just point out that last line because I think it says it all:

You can still choose the cash option on the claim form, but you will be disappointed with the amount you receive and you won’t get the free credit monitoring.

Should You Choose the Cash Option?

As far as I can tell you can still choose the $125, but the government seems to be hinting that you won’t be getting much at all if you choose the Equifax Data Breach Settlement cash option. There is $31 million in money to go around which equates to 248,000 claims at $125. 

So that means if only 2.48 million people make a claim you’ll get $12.50. And if 24.8 million people are eligible and choose cash (which it seems like that is a possibility) then you’ll get $1.25. Of course we don’t know how many people filed a claim and chose cash, but I would assume most did. 


Change to Credit Monitoring If You Filed?

In lieu of cash claimants can receive, “free, three-bureau credit monitoring at all three national credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion).” They also provide an additional six years of Equifax only monitoring after that.

But what happens to people who chose cash? Can they change? 

It looks like everyone will receive an email with the option to change the choice of $125 cash for the Equifax Data Breach Settlement. They also indicate you’ll be asked for more information meaning there may be a hoop or two to jump through before a check arrives. 

Equifax Data Breach Settlement Cash Option
Should you gamble on a higher payout?

The Big Gamble

So if the government is telling everyone to take the monitoring should you stay with the cash with the hope that everyone else moves to monitoring and you’ll be rich? I would say no. A lot of people will still probably choose the money and end up with pennies or hopefully dollars.


We cover a lot of class action lawsuit settlements on Miles to Memories and none has been as popular and widespread as this one. It seems the cash portion of the settlement isn’t enough and the government wants you to get monitoring instead of a check for $2. 

What do you think? Are you going to stay with the Equifax Data Breach Settlement cash option or are you going to choose credit monitoring after learning about this? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Shawn Coomer
Since 2007 Shawn Coomer has been circling the globe with his family for pennies on the dollar. He uses that first-hand knowledge and experience to teach others how to achieve their travel dreams for the least amount of money possible.

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  1. So why wouldn’t they just allow the option of the $125 payment until they hit the $31 million mark, and then only offer free credit monitoring after that? How hard is this?

  2. I like how they only set aside $31 million in reparations for the largest hack/exposure of people’s personal information to date. Like they thought that less than 1% of those affected would file a claim against them for cash payment. Every credit worthy person who knows anything has some form of credit monitoring already and if there credit monitoring service is so costly why are they pushing us to use that instead? I know, because it’s complete and utter BS. Almost every financial institution and Credit Karma offers the same services (minus the $1 million Insurance) for free now. What a disservice to the American consumer!

  3. I didn’t do anything when the letter/email(?) came. I’ve been out of the country. What do I do now to be able to choose an option?

  4. Do you have to file online for the $125 payment? If so, I have a feeling that most (>80%) people won’t be aware of this at all. However if they mailed this info out to everyone affected then I suppose most people will choose cash. I chose cash because I have several free monitoring services anyways.

    • Also, you will receive a 1099-MISC and the IRS will be expecting a cut of your massive “winnings” on your Form 1040, Schedule 1, line 21. Why everyone wants to create more paperwork for a dollar or two is beyond me.

    • You should be set if you submitted everything. The soonest anything will be sent is late January, 2020. “For free credit monitoring, after final approval from the court, you will get an activation code with instructions. You can choose to receive this code by email or postal mail when you file your claim.”

      So it will come via mail or email depending on what you chose!


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