He has nothing what are they gonna collect?
No, they can't get blood out of a turnip. What they can do is keep tacking on interest to what is currently a relatively small loan and eventually it will be a monster. That monster will not only screw up his credit but it will give him that excuse, if he choses, to not bother trying because that debt will ALWAYS be hanging over his head until its dealt with. Student loans, like child support, NEVER go away until you deal with them.