Rocket Lawyer™ Educates College Students With Legal 101
SAN FRANCISCO (August 25, 2010) -- From signing
their first lease, to paying for student loans and utilities, college
students are faced with new challenges when they step on campus. Rocket Lawyer™,
the easiest way to make it legal, offers tips to help college students
navigate new legal questions that arise as they head back to school.
"Now more than ever, it's important that young adults
understand their new legal obligations and responsibilities when they
are on their own for the first time," said Charley Moore, founder and
chairman of Rocket Lawyer. "Rocket Lawyer offers hundreds of online
legal forms that cover a range of personal legal needs to help parents,
college students and consumers with all of their legal needs."
Rocket Lawyer's top five tips for "acing" Legal 101, include:
Lease liability: For many young people,
college is the first time they sign a rental agreement. Whether you're
on the lease alone or signing with roommates -- if your name is on it,
you are responsible for the monthly payment. If one of your roommates
falls short, you are still responsible for picking up the slack. That's
why it's especially important to read the document carefully before you
sign and become legally liable. Some important items to understand in
your lease include the amount of rent and when it's due, the amount of
the security deposit, penalties for late payment of rent, pet policies
and applicable fees, and whether the landlord or the tenant is
responsible for utility payments. To learn more about the items that are
included in a lease, check out Rocket Lawyer's Apartment Lease for a sample. Visit the Rocket Lawyer Landlord/Tenant Issues help articles for more tips on renting.
Understand your utilities: Make sure you
have a clear picture of what you and your roommates can afford before
signing up for all of the movie channels. Gas, electric, phone and cable
bills are listed under one name, even if there are several people
splitting the cost. If you're the one on the agreement, you are
responsible for payment every month. Negative records such as late
payments and collection accounts can remain on credit reports for seven
years, which can affect you long after graduation.
Be careful of credit cards: According to
a 2009 study by Sallie Mae, 84 percent of the student population
overall have credit cards. While it can be tempting to sign up for a
credit card to get an enticing promotional item, it's critical that
young people take the time to read and understand the legal commitment
they are entering into with the credit card company. Read the interest
rate charges and payment agreement carefully. It is often confusing to
get through the lengthy document, so ask someone you trust or visit
RocketLawyer.com to get advice before signing. Check out Rocket Lawyer's
help articles about Credit Monitoring for more help.
Save for student loans: According to
recent figures from the Federal Reserve, consumers now owe more on their
student loans than their credit cards. Students and parents should
always take extra time to understand loan commitments before entering
into the agreement. Understand how you are allowed to spend the loan
money, the interest rates, the length of the term, and the repayment
options (including how long you will need to pay off the debt and the
amount of the monthly repayments). It's also smart to look for a loan
that you can defer in cases of unemployment, or if you decide to
continue your education beyond your undergraduate degree. Not all loans
are the same, so know what you're signing. It's a commitment you and
your parents may be paying off for many years to come.
Before you borrow from family or friends:
Many students today may be borrowing money from a loved one or friend
in order to pay for student loans, housing, books, etc. Before accepting
the offer, understand the terms of the loan. You need to know when and
how you are expected to pay the money back and always put it in writing.
Use Rocket Lawyer to help you draft a Promissory Note,
so that the terms are clear and accepted by both parties. Documenting
the loan can help you avoid a disagreement later on, or something much
worse -- like a court battle.
With a little knowledge and the online legal tools at Rocket Lawyer, college students can ace Legal 101.It's smart to create legal contracts online
-- since you can share and collaborate with parents, friends or a
lawyer -- just as easily as using social networking sites. Documents are
always safe and secure. A great place to start is the Rocket Lawyer Easy Legal Check-up.
For more information and advice, visit the Rocket Lawyer blogs, Legally Easy and Rocket Lawyer Press.
About Rocket Lawyer
Rocket Lawyer™ (www.RocketLawyer.com)
is the easiest way to make it legal™. Whether someone wants to create
and edit their own legal documents online, share legal documents with
others, or work with any of the thousands of attorneys in the Rocket
Lawyer network, Rocket Lawyer makes it simple and affordable. Rocket
Lawyer also offers customizable client matching and marketing solutions for attorneys. As the best destination for legal services, more than 10 million individuals, small businesses and non-profit organizations
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for Rocket Lawyer PR
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