I was very fortunate -- I went to university in Canada, where university tuition is lower. The tuition for my last semester (four months, Winter '82) broke $1,000 for the first time. My parents had also taken out a Registered Education Savings Plan for me, which kicked in, I think, $800 for the last three years of my four year degree. And I had my Co-op work terms. With all that, I still needed a loan (it was around $2,500) to get me through the last year (OK, some of that may have paid for the month's vacation I took after finishing school).
I paid $500 of the loan off in my first six months after school, then a few months after that, received a notice that they'd start charging interest if the loan wasn't paid off in full by the first anniversary. I was earning $22,000 annually, but my expenses were low, so I managed to make four monthly payments of $550 per month to get it all paid off.
It didn't occur to my to skip out on the loan, although it was a relatively small amount. The only other loan I'd taken out was for a motorcycle -- four $400 payments -- and dodging those payments didn't occur to me either. I'd borrowed money, I had to pay it back.
I think the writer of TFA is in denial. They need to mend fences and start paying off the loan. You borrowed some money and promised to pay it back. Yes, it's inconvenient, but it's the responsible thing to do. Grow up.