New Zealand students are largely ignorant of the student loan process and the implications of taking out a loan, according to a report.
The research was commissioned by Study Link, the agency that administers the loan scheme, and the Inland Revenue Department to assess the information given to students.
It concludes: "Ultimately, communications to students... are missing the mark."
The report recommends a television campaign that shows people paying off their loans - "how they are doing it, how long it will take them to pay it back, how they wish they had done things differently".
Study Link should adopt the role of a firm parent, not a generous uncle, the report suggests.