You could very well be eligible for a cash payment if you spent time protecting or cleaning up your credit file after the 2017 Equifax data breach. You can find out if you're eligible to file a claim for part of the up to $425 million the company plans to use to compensate affected consumers. How exactly do you find out if you're eligible or not?\r\n\r\nWell, if your information has been compromised in any way, shape, or form, it's likely you're eligible. 147 million Americans had their data compromised in this beach. To check, you can visit a settlement eligibility checker online to find out.\r\nHow to find out if you're eligible\r\n\r\n\r\nHead on over to the settlement eligibility checker. Input your last name and the last six digits of your social security number. You will then find out the exact information that was included in the data breach if any. Then, you may begin to follow the prompts for filing a claim.\r\n\r\nThe website states, "You can receive free, three-bureau credit monitoring at all three national credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion). Experian will provide this service for at least four\u00a0years. You can also enroll in free, single-bureau credit monitoring of your Equifax credit file, provided by Equifax, for up to six\u00a0years after the Experian service ends."\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nIf you're not so sure about Equifax monitoring your credit after everything that's happened, fear not. You can absolutely choose the option for a cash payout, then sign up for a different credit monitoring service. At the very least, you can claim $125. If you spent more time, you may be eligible for a higher payout based on that amount of time and any additional money spent.\r\n\r\nYou might even be eligible for up to $20,000 to repair any damages of identity theft. If you spent less than 10 hours, you can then claim up to $125 for your time. The settlement does need approval by a federal judge, so be sure to have proper documentation. Additionally, please be aware that it may take months before you see settlement payouts.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nBe sure to protect yourself going forward with reliable credit monitoring services. Just about anyone can hack into our data and get ahold of our personal information. Always take the extra steps to ensure you are being protected!\r\n\r\nhttps:\/\/youtu.be\/9u8jPZ04nq8\r\nDid you know that you can lock in some of the best mortgage rates on your home by improving your credit score? Take a look at all these other awesome ways to get the best mortgage rates.