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I have a private student loan through American Education Services. As far as I knew, my loan was in a three month forbearance from Nov, Dec and Jan with my payments to resume in February. When I called last week to get my updated tax information on my student loan interest, I was informed that my loan was in DEFAULT and no longer with the AES office. I was then given about eight different numbers to call to track down who actually held my account and I still have not figured out how it went into default when it was in a 3 month forbearance. But AES won't give me any information because they said they no longer hold my account. The loan was originated through Lexington Student Loan Trust (which I cannot find a phone number to call them!) and is now held by MRS Associates out of New Jersey. Upon doing my research, it looks like MRS Associates is a shady collection agency and I do not want to do business with them if at all possible. But I can not figure out who I should pay for this loan! MRS offered me many, many settlement options but I cannot take any of them at this time. I am able to make the $120 a month payment to them just as I was to AES but nothing more. AES has already reported to my credit report as of yesterday as being delinquent 120 days but does not show as DEFAULTED, which they told me it went into default status on Feb 1st. I DO NOT NEED a $12000 collection account on my credit report! I'm trying to improve my credit, not destroy it more. What do I do? Pay the CA or try the original creditor? I do not want to agree to pay anything to the CA unless they agree not to report on my credit report. I know some places will do a pay-for-delete but I have never tried that. Any help and advice you can give me would be greatly appreciated. I have no problem paying what I owe (which I realize will be awhile before I can pay it off) but I do not want this to destroy my credit even more. Thank you in advance!