The core value and driver behind Student Loan Odyssey is financial self-advocacy.

When you practice financial self-advocacy, you become the champion of your own money, and of your financial destiny.

Each person’s dream is different. However, there are some common underlying principles that can help you get to your goal better, faster or more reliably.

There are many barriers that prevent you from mastering your own financial destiny:

  • A complex and confusing market landscape
  • Poor understanding of actual costs and benefits of products
  • Lack of focus on maximizing the buyer’s financial wellbeing 
  • Limiting self-beliefs, actions and habits
  • Hard-wired human biases that make it difficult to act in one’s best interests

The secret to overcoming these barriers is to adopt the financial self-advocacy mindset and principles to significantly improve your financial outcomes with a little effort, consistently applied over time.

Here is our financial self-advocacy manifesto to support your journey:

Decisions and tradeoffs

  • There will always be trade-offs
  • Your values are the best guide to help you make the right trade-offs
  • Aim to strike a balance short term and long term
  • Aim for moderate goals in both, but always keep the door open to let in the great
  • Always build options. More options are always better than fewer
  • Get expert help when you need it, but be aware how and for what they get paid
  • Even when you get expert help, don’t delegate the decision making
  • Ensure that you can explain the reason for your decision so it makes sense to a fifth grader
  • Pick simple over complex every time


  • Always remember that every seller is seeking to maximize their profit –financial services companies are not philanthropic organizations
  • You are the best champion of your own financial well-being
  • Seek mutually beneficial transactions and arrangements when doing business with financial providers
  • Approach the market with skepticism and a questioning mind
  • Actively seek cons as well as pros to every purchase or decision
  • Numbers are your best friend – Actively befriend them
  • Find the few numbers that matter for every decision – simple numbers are better than no numbers or complex analyses

Taking action

  • The right path to your goal is the one that you can stick to long-term, not the one that’s necessarily in the textbooks
  • Recognize that this is a journey not a destination


  • Build small habits and practices, rather than big one-off actions, for long-term success
  • Automate as many favorable actions as possible; leave little or nothing to willpower
  • Check in on the status of your financial affairs regularly, even if it’s briefly. Limit the numbers to monitor, and understand what changes in those will require action.
  • Negative outcomes don’t indicate poor decisions; similarly, outcomes don’t usually indicate genius ability. Focus on actions that you can control.
  • Process and habits trump everything – focus your efforts on building those.

Get on the road to financial self-advocacy today!