Zina Kumok

Zina Kumok is a personal finance writer dedicated to explaining complex financial topics so real people can understand them. As a former newspaper reporter, she has covered everything from murder trials to the Final Four.

About Zina Kumok

Current Role

Personal finance writer


Three-time finalist for Best Personal Finance Contributor at the Plutus Awards


Student loans, credit scores, personal loans, banking, education planning


Bachelor's degree in journalism from Indiana University

Personal Finance Experience

Zina has been a personal finance writer for almost a decade. In that time, she has written for prestigious publications and household brands.

She has also worked as a financial coach helping real consumers tackle their loans. She paid off her student loans in three years and documented the progress on her blog.

Latest from Zina Kumok

Are There Student Loans That Pay Direct?

Federal student loans—and most private student loans—don’t show up as one big check in the mail. Typically, borrowed funds go to the school...

Income-Based Student Loans

Income-based repayment has only been available for federal loans—until now. Find out how private income-based student loans work, and if they're a better...

College Ave vs. Ascent: Student Loan Comparison

In this comparison, we’ll compare College Ave and Ascent private student loans and tell you...

Supplemental Student Loans

There are two main kinds of supplemental student loans you can use. We explain the differences and similarities, below.

Sallie Mae vs. Ascent: Student Loan Comparison

In this comparison, we review loan terms, repayment options, and more to find out if...

College Ave vs. Discover: Student Loan Comparison

There are several different factors to consider when deciding between College Ave and Discover. Find...

Earnest vs. Discover: Student Loan Comparison

Earnest and Discover don’t offer the same benefits to borrowers. We found major differences that could impact which one you should choose.

How Much Can You Take Out in Private Student Loans?

Learn about private student loan limits and why you shouldn't always borrow as much as...

How to Choose Student Loans

When choosing a student loan, you should maximize all federal options before seeking private loans. Here’s how to get started.

How Many Student Loans Can I Take Out?

Before taking out student loans, understand both the annual and total limits of both federal and private student loans.