"will be able to repay the loan" is a pretty low bar. You and I are on the same side here - I don't think it should be child's play to get the money and a sisyphean task to discharge the loan. But I also don't think "ability to repay" is the right pinchpoint. I mean, I give you passage to America in exchange for the right to make you do whatever I want for ten years under penalty of throwing your ass in the stocks when you get uppity - you're gonna repay. You are a safe credit risk.
The problem right now is that if I'm a bank and you're a student, I can loan you money regardless of your circumstances and if you don't pay me back? The government does. And then the government sells your loan to someone else who can garnish your wages, your alimony, your child support, your whatever and not even bankruptcy frees you. Compare and contrast: I'm a bank and you want to buy a house. If you can't pay me back, I take your house, I shit all over your credit rating and we all move on.
The issue is collateral: because there's no decent collateral for student loans, the government decided to step in and guarantee the loans. And then because there's no decent humans in congress, the government decided to step in and turn them into indentured servitude.
And here we are.