The law is different for Student Loans then for many loans like credit cards, car notes, or personal loans. For example, student loans can sometimes lead to garnishment — money taken out of your paycheck — without a court judgment!
However, student loan collectors are not allowed to harass you any more than any other collector. Many times student loan collections are done by the original creditor, but in states like California and Texas, harassment is illegal no matter if it is done by outside collections or the original owner of the loan.
Some things that student loan collectors are not allowed to do include: talking to people at your job or family members about your debt (although they can talk to co-signers), calling you before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m., and speaking or yelling at you in a derogatory fashion, either by calling you names or telling you how you are a bad person for not being able to pay your debts.
Student loan collections are serious business — for many people, student loans are the largest debts they have and they can not get discharged in bankruptcy. If you have outstanding student loans you are unable to pay, there are progams to help you. However, harassment is not part of the program. If you are being harassed by a collector, be it a student loan collector or otherwise, contact your local consumer attorney for help!