Yes, in some important ways. Generally, student loans CANNOT be discharged in bankruptcy, unlike most other forms of credit, with some exceptions in disability. Therefore, you should be particularly careful when taking out student loans, whether they are from the federal government or from private banks. If your student loans are federally provided, various payment and discharge options are available. For example, IBR (Income-Based Repayment) reduces monthly payments to 15% of your annual discretionary income divided into twelve monthly payments. Also, if successfully paid for a certain number of years, the remaining balance will be forgiven (though you may owe federal income tax on the forgiven amount.) For more information, see