A "brilliant" young mum-of-three took her own life after she got into debt, an inquest heard.
Melissa McCracken was found hanged by two of her children, and the concerned youngsters told a neighbour "mummy's got something around her neck".
The 23-year-old mum was pronounced dead at the scene in Wigan last November.
Police discovered letters relating to debts and three separate piles of paperwork for each of the children at her home, Manchester Evening News reports.
Recording a verdict of "suicide", coroner Alan Walsh described Melissa's death as "extremely sad".
He told Bolton Coroners Court: "Melissa did have a difficult life. She had difficulty with relationships, not least with the father of her children.
"She was someone who tried to bring up three children as a single parent with the support of her family, but I imagine times were extremely difficult and money would have been tight.
"She clearly got herself into debt."
He added: "I do not know what passed through her mind in those final moments, but it must have been total desperation.
"Among all that chaos, to put all those children's notes in separate piles, that was her last responsible action."
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Melissa had "brushed off her" financial problems when she admitted she "rarely" paid bills to her neighbour Samantha Havill.
She told the inquest: "I think she found it hard moving from home and having three young kids to look after and running a house. It just got on top of her."
Melissa spent the day prior to her death at her mother's house and had returned home with the children at about 6.30pm.
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She sent a number of unanswered text messages to her friend, Glenn Rosental, asking him to come to her house as she "needed to speak to him".
The last was sent at 10.15pm and Mr Rosental claimed he had forgotten about the messages after getting into a conversation with a friend.
Ms Havill heard two of Melissa's young children knocking on her door the following morning.
When she answered, the concerned youngsters told her "mummy's got something around her neck" and she found Melissa lying on the stairs.
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She was pronounced her dead at the scene by paramedics shortly after.
Greater Manchester Police Detective Inspector John Davies said there were no suspicious circumstances and the piles of notes relating to her children appeared to have been "set out deliberately".
A post-mortem examination gave Melissa's cause of death as "hanging", with no suggestion the alcohol present in her blood caused her death.
Melissa's mother, Elaine McCracken, claimed that her daughter's financial problems had been resolved and that she had never suspected her daughter "wanted to harm herself".
After the hearing on Wednesday, she described her daughter as "a lovely girl who would do anything for anybody".
She said: "It does not make sense to me.
"She was always happy and had lots of friends.
"She was a brilliant mum and was all about the kids. She loved them and they miss her so much.
"It is so devastating. We were such a close-knit family. I saw her and the kids every day."
For emotional support, you can call the Samaritans 24-hour helpline on 116 123, email [email protected], visit a Samaritans branch in person or go to the Samaritans website.
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