Impact Stories

home   /   About   /   Stories
/   Mary’s story

Mary’s story

Aug 11, 2022

Life can turn from trial to joy in such a short space of time.Mary

Mary McNair, 81, is revelling in a new sense of freedom. She’s no longer burdened by $40,000 worth of debt – and she has a brand new hip!

“The Lord is gracious and full of compassion. I feel it’s the beginning of a new life.”

But turn the clock back a couple of years, and things weren’t so good for Mary.

A self-confessed visionary, Mary got herself into difficulty by starting an online business that promised so much, and that the returns would come… but the business crashed. “And there was nobody that could help.” She was also scammed in an online trading site that suggested trading could be automated. “In my innocence, I thought that would be a good idea.” The final blow came when Mary signed up to a 24-month interest-free deal on a new computer, then shortly after, the COVID pandemic struck.

“Income stopped from my organ playing… things started falling apart.”


The bank consolidated her debt into a personal loan, but it took every penny she had to pay it. At the same time she started having serious health issues – and the financial stress only made things worse. “I was trapped. There was no magic bullet. No way out.” Mary became dependent on food boxes to survive, but due to her having food allergies, it meant she was eating food that wasn’t good for her health. “But I was hungry, that’s all I had.”

Eventually, Mary found the strength to call CAP for help. The CAP first responder explained to Mary how Debt Help works, and that somebody would come and see her in her home.

“That meant a lot. I was met with complete and utter understanding, compassion.”

Mary’s Debt Coach helped her gather her bills and loans. The CAP team then expertly crafted a budget for her. She remembers having money left over in the budget: “I was able to go to the supermarket, and I remember buying myself a bar of dairy-free chocolate!”

With the support of the CAP Team to help her through any ups and downs, Mary went debt free. She says the way she thinks about and handles money has changed. “No more credit!”

Mary often reflects on her newfound freedom and revels in the fact that she can now afford to pay the extra for dairy and gluten free food for her health. “The load was lifted off me. I can laugh again. I can think straight. And the thing I love most is going into the supermarket, getting the things in my trolley, the food that I need.”