Equifax settlement: How long you have to file your claim and when you'll receive benefits

Bottom line: You haven't missed the boat.

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Clifford is a managing editor at CNET, where he leads How-To coverage. He spent a handful of years at Peachpit Press, editing books on everything from the first iPhone to Python. He also worked at a handful of now-dead computer magazines, including MacWEEK and MacUser. Unrelated, he roots for the Oakland A's.
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If you've been putting off filing your claim from the 2017 Equifax data breach -- which affected nearly half of the US population -- there's still time. You have until Jan. 22, 2020 to submit your claims, according to the Federal Trade Commission. And you can either file yours online or mail one in. If you choose to mail your settlement, it must be postmarked no later than that date.

The breach affected 147 million people, and is one of the worst data hacks ever, exposing names, birth dates, Social Security numbers and addresses, along with 209,000 credit card numbers.

To begin, check if your information were exposed in the data breach. If you're eligible to file, collect all your documents and receipts that show your losses and out-of-pocket expenses as a result of the hack. Then when you're ready, you can file. We have a guide for how to prepare and file your claims and what the settlement payments can cover.

The earliest you can expect to receive benefits, the FTC said, is the day after the submission deadline: Jan. 23, 2020. 

If you did rush to submit your claim, the FTC said you can revise your request if you filed for the $125, especially in light of the FTC's recommendations about which benefits to request.

If you've filed, the FTC said you'll receive an email from the settlement administrator with instructions on how to switch requests.

Watch this: Equifax breach: Find out if you can claim part of the $700 million