How to file a claim over Equifax’s data breach

How to file a claim over Equifax’s data breach

If you’re one of the 147 million-plus people who had their data exposed by Equifax’s massive 2017 data breach, you can file a claim for cash or free credit monitoring, courtesy of Equifax’s recent settlement with the Federal Trade Commission.

Details: If you lost up to $500 from the Equifax breach, filing for a “time spent” cash payment requires the least amount of paperwork and supporting documents. The deadline for all claims is January 22, per the FTC, and benefits will not be sent until January 23 at the earliest.

Where to start: Check if your information was exposed. Then you can submit a claim online, print a copy and mail it, or have a hard copy form mailed to you. Claims for people who were minors on May 13, 2017 can only be sent via mail.

Option 1:

You have the choice between free credit monitoring — from Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion — for at least 4 years, or a $125 cash payment. In lieu of the $125, you can also opt-in for up to 6 additional years of free credit monitoring through Equifax only.

  • 4 years of credit monitoring from Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion via their separate monthly subscription services is a $2,842.72 value.
  • That said, credit monitoring is not the only way to protect your personal information.

Option 2:

If you file for a “time spent” cash payment — because you spent time trying to recover from or avoid fraud or identity theft — you have to log an explanation of that time spent, the approximate month and year, and the hours and minutes spent. You only have to attach supporting documents if you log more than 10 hours.

  • You can be compensated $25 per hour for up to 20 hours — so the most you can be reimbursed is $500.
  • If you log more than 10 hours, you’ll also have to provide “reasonable documentation of fraud, identity theft, or other alleged misuse of your personal information fairly traceable to the data breach (i.e., letter from IRS or bank or police report).”
  • Your “time spent” here can’t relate to other data breaches.

Option 3:

You can get up to $20,000 if you lost or spent money trying to prevent or recover from fraud or identity theft caused by the data breach and have not been reimbursed.

  • There are 6 categories of financial losses that qualify under this option:
    • (1) costs for freezing/unfreezing your credit report
    • (2) credit monitoring and identity theft protection purchases
    • (3) costs incurred for an Equifax credit or identity theft monitoring products
    • (4) professional fees paid to address identity theft
    • (5) expenses related to the breach like notary, fax, postage, copying, mileage, etc.
    • and (6), the most general category — costs, expenses, or losses due to identity theft, fraud, or misuse of your personal information on or after May 13, 2017.
  • For each category, you have to document the amount of money spent or lost, provide the date, write a description and attach supporting documents.
  • If you spent or lost money for each category several times, add up the money you lost or spent and give your best estimate on the date.

Don’t forget: There are other free or low-cost ways to monitor your credit. Some of the best ways to protect your personal information are to review your credit report, set up fraud alert, frequently change passwords, file taxes early, or consider a security or credit freeze, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

The post How to file a claim over Equifax’s data breach appeared first on The CreditPros.

How to Use Your Credit Card Smartly?

Gone are the days when only a handful of people used these Cards. The present scenario narrates a different story and every individual today swipes his or her Credit Cards for making purchases. Executing transactions through these cards have become a common affair. Take a look around, and you will come across innumerable people swiping their respective cards. It’s here that individuals consider the positive impacts of using these cards.

Possibilities of rewards

When it boils down to making effective financial transactions, Credit Cards play a crucial role. This particular mode of payment can be useful, effective, and rewarding if the users know the art of using it. Try utilizing your card smartly, thus reaping the maximum benefit out of it. Here are some tips to help you out:

Tips to make the most of these Cards

If you are wondering about how to use your credit card, following the effective and smart tips will surely help you out. Seeking professional assistance will be the best thing to do, as that will help you spend smartly and earn more. Always try to strategize your expenses and spending behavior for smarter and better transactions. If you wish to make the most of your transactions, these suggestions can be useful:

1. Higher Credit Limits

While accepting Cards from a bank, you must check the credit and spending limits. Always look for highest limits, as that will help you emerge as qualified creditors. You will not only gain the flexibility to plan high-priced purchases but also get the opportunity to prove your credit worthiness.

2. Paying bills on time

Overdue amounts and card bills can affect your credit score negatively. If you fail to pay the overdue amount within stipulated periods, make sure you have adequate finances to pay off the pending amounts. It’s highly imperative to pay overdue on time, as that is the key to getting qualified for higher credits.

3. Understand rewards

Most of the individuals receive special gifts on their cards. However, they fail to understand the ways to use them. You should comprehend the clauses, understand them, and then redeem special discounts. Every Card owner must know his credit limits as that will give him the freedom to pay.

4. Clear, complete overdue amounts

At times, you might come across an option where minimum overdue can be paid. Steer clear of choosing such options as that won’t help you in any way. Try clearing the complete bill without keeping any pending amount. Minimum payments can lead to exorbitant interest rates on the remaining amounts.

5. Ensure complete security

Always keep your cards in secured places and make sure it is safe. The details related to the Card should be open to you and not to anybody else. Sharing such crucial details will pave the path for fraudulent practices. Be crystal clear about the usage of your card and keep it secure. That’s the key towards making authentic transactions.

Benefits of a Credit Card

Every bank is people friendly, and they have a variety of credit cards to assist people in case of emergencies or untoward situations. You can select any card suitable to your lifestyle and their customer-friendly executives are always at your beck-and-call for assistance. All the cards have cash back schemes, reward points and offers any time of the year. Having a credit card offers you the convenience of making one payment compared to paying cash for various services.

Benefits

Yes, selecting the best card is a challenging task, but not an impossible one. If your job involves going on tours, a travel card offering discounts on hotel bookings and flight tickets will be the best option. Also, you have the option of paying by this card instead of paying by cash in a foreign land. If you are one who shops regularly, a card offering discounts on popular labels, electronics at suitable outlets will be the best option.

In an unforeseen-emergency, you can make the payment, but can have the big amount changed to EMIs. Repayment is mandatory, however, you can schedule the payment as per your convenience after going through the guidelines.

Some of the card fans opine the monthly c.statement to a diary where you do not have to note the purchase items. An option is also available where the purchases can be easily sorted.

Making regular payments on your dues automatically rewards you with a good credit score. A wonderful track record will always assist you in securing a loan.

Forget the past of standing in long queues at a bank; you can apply for your favourite credit card in the comfort of your home or office. Make a visit to the website, browse the required column and select your favourite card. The personal details have to be filled as required and then click the “Apply” option. The next step is to keep ready the copies of Identity proof, Income proof and address proof for the verification process.

Highlights

Handling expenses is difficult, but more challenging is the task of paying bills. The world is in your fingertips provided you know how to handle technical gadgets and have a credit card. You do not have to step out of your home to pay bills of any category, be it electricity, mobile recharge and other requirements.

Live hassle free and avail of the Mobile Bill Pay option of the Bank. Ensure you do the right clicks, update correct information and the bill. You have done your part to Mother Nature by saving paper and making the best use of your time.

Features

The internet has given rise to cyber criminals who make use of every opportunity to swindle money at your cost. However, all the credit cards are safely protected as they have an EMV chip (also protected by PIN) by which every transaction is made secure. The chip cuts down drastically any possibilities of skimming and counterfeit fraud transactions.

You can use the card to access airport lounges (for a nominal fee), shop online for clothes, gadgets, book tickets of your favourite shows etc. Similar to every credit card, you will receive an SMS instantly after a transaction to the mobile number registered in the directory.

You can also withdraw cash at any ATMs in the world (however, you have to inform the bank for some credit cards about going to a foreign country). Fees will be applicable as per the guidelines. Payment by card just got better with these points.

• Booking by credit card gives you discounts on movie tickets and outside dining.
• Depending on the card, you will get refunds for fuel surcharges.
• Family members of primary card holders do not have to pay fees for becoming an add-on member.
• Joining fees may be waived if you make a purchase of a particular amount or above using the card.

Eligibility

You should have attained the age of 18 years or older

You should maintain a minimum amount as per the requirements of the credit card
If you are applying for a credit card the first time, you have to provide proof of your income, address. In case you already have an account, your KYC information will be checked once again for authenticity.