Oliver celebrates after retiring nearly $15 million of consumer medical debt.
Courtesy of HBO

Who did the most to improve the financial lives of Americans this year? After two moths spent poring over some 75 nominations from readers, experts, and staffers, the answers became clear. MONEY picked John Oliver as 2016’s most influential and informative (and funny!) financial crusader — the man who managed to put a comedic spin on the wage gap, predatory lending, the fiduciary standard, and other complex topics. And then we went even further, identifying about a dozen other innovative people, products, and ideas that changed your money life for the better — perhaps forever. Read on to see the individual financial heroes, and the game-changing products, services, and movements, that shook our world in 2016.

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