Well I was one of those morons who took out a loan thinking it wasn't real, studied something mostly retarded, graduated never to work in the field of my study and shot off overseas to party it up with my head in the sand of the potential consequences.
Thankfully two things saved my ass 1) Poor family so got full student allowance 2) I set my old man with rights over my IRD account and he applied for a repayment holiday for me. By the time my head started to be screwed on better the damage wasn't too bad and I managed to finally knock it all off a couple years back.
I have some sympathy for highschool age retarded me. 17 is waaaay to young to be making incredibly expensive decisions on your life without decent guidance. We had a representative from Massey Uni come to discuss our options at highschool, the fuckhead sold me on a BA because it covered so many areas and would set me up. I had no other adult guidance so just bought it hook line and sinker.
I get to uni as barefoot long haired, Che wearing mongaloid reading the student paper, rubbing shoulders with like minded mongaloids in philosophy, psychology, sociology, politics, history etc and we were convinced that student loans were going to be wiped clean in a couple years. I believe it was a resurgent Alliance party that was pushing that at the time? I mean free tertiary education is a human right! Learning that gender is a social construct and that Marx was a swell guy was bound to make society a better place!
I can only imagine there will still be a significant cross-section of students in universities today who are in that same trap except it may even be worse to some degree with even more retarded courses than what I did with certain politicians and personalities thriving on student ignorance for their own benefit.
What I'd love to see is some sort of financial literacy being covered in highschool so at least 17 year olds without decent guidance might have a fighting chance...that's not to say I would have listened at the time but at least then I wouldn't have any sympathy now.