It will only be a financial disaster if it is handled as badly as the underwater mortgages were. Obama is pushing to let mortgage deadbeats, many of whom signed false applications as to ability to pay, off the hook. These deadbeats should have gone through bankruptcy and foreclosure, instead of getting a sweet deal that shifted their debt to the US government deficit.
If a student accepts a loan, he or she should pay it off, the terms of payment are already low rates and long on times to pay. To let the dead beats off the hook makes honest folks into suckers.
IIRC he’s pushing for the equivalent: if your career doesn’t duly match your student loans for a few years, you’re off the hook.