So just so Im correct.. Although a collection agency is contacting me, I can still go to the creditor(AES) and work an arrangement out with them?
Typically, collection agencies are debt purchasers and the old creditor has washed their hands of the debt. However, student loans do not sell the debt, just assign the collection of it. Therefore, you should try to contact the student loan company directly, as they will be less aggressive. If they tell you you have to contact the collection agency, call them rather than have them call you. By the time they are calling you, you are dealing with automatic dialers with no authority to compromise.