BOARDMAN- How would your life be different if you had no debt?

Living without debt and the bigger issue of getting out of debt was the topic in Boardman at Blue Mountain Community College on Thursday night.

"You may not agree with everything we say and that's okay," class instructor David Oar said.

A system of living on less and paying more on interest heavy loans was the lesson being taught.

The strategies Oar suggested in the class may have been uncomfortable to people on a monthly spending spree habit, but it rang true with several of the students in the class.

Wes McClatchey of Hermiston said living debt free is a dream he has but he wanted to go to the class to learn some tools on how to make it a reality.

"They pull out a lot of things that you don't think about," McClatchey said.

Beth Heagy of Ione said she just went through a tough time with bankruptcy and she wanted to make sure nothing like that ever happened again. Heagy said the class was much more interesting then she thought it would be and that she was enjoying it.

Lila Killingbeck of Boardman wanted to learn more about how to get out of debt before she stopped working.

"I'm not too far from retiring and I want to be debt-free when it happens," Killingbeck said. The problems with more and more Americans digging deeper into debt every year is something that Killingbeck said comes from a lack of education and control.

"I think people don't understand," Killingbeck said, "And all they know is that they want."

Even the experts on finance admit they sometimes need to have a little more education.

Tom Kligel is the city accountant for Boardman and he said the techniques in the class are good, but the trick is to stay with the program.

"It works but you've got to be consistent," Kligel said. "I've been doing high powered finance for 12 years and I never do my own."

Brook Griffin can be reached at 1-800-522-0255 ext. 1309, bgriffin@eastoregonian.com

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