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Key Words: Why newly elected congressman Maxwell Frost has to ‘couch surf’ — even with a $174,000 salary

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“‘I’m probably just going to have to, like, couch surf for a little bit.’”

That was Maxwell Frost, who is set to become the first member of Generation Z to serve in Congress, discussing his inability to rent an apartment in Washington, D.C.

Frost, 25, said he had been turned down for several apartments due to his poor credit, which he said is a result of having accumulated debt while running for the seat in Florida’s 10th Congressional District.

“It’s not cheap,” Frost said in an interview on ABC’s “This Week” on Jan. 1. “I’m dealing with it right now, getting denied from apartments, trying to figure out where to live because I have bad credit. I’m probably just going to have to, like, couch surf for a little bit.”

The current annual salary for a member of Congress is $174,000, according to the U.S. House of Representatives Press Gallery.

In response to a disparaging tweet from the Republican National Committee Research Twitter account, Frost, a Democrat, noted that he hasn’t received a paycheck yet.

(Reps. Collin Allred of Texas and Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania, a Democrat and Republican respectively, conceded in Wednesday interviews with MSNBC that they didn’t know whether they were being paid for their work this week, having not yet been sworn in owing to the drama surrounding the election of a House speaker.)

Frost’s campaign manager reportedly told Axios that Frost had informed a leasing agent for the apartment building in which he wanted to rent that he had been elected to serve in the incoming Congress and still had his application denied. Frost has previously stated that he worked as an Uber
UBER,
+2.17%

 driver during his campaign to help pay his bills.

Frost ran on a social, racial and economic justice platform and received high-profile endorsements from progressives, including Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.

See also: Almost 80% of Americans think the U.S. will experience great economic difficulty in 2023

According to a LendingTree survey from 2022, roughly 42% of Americans say they have been denied a financial tool like a credit card or loan in the past year due to bad credit. Average credit scores in the U.S. have either increased or stayed the same every year since 2017, according to Experian.

Steps toward improving a credit score can include reducing overall debt obligations and making on-time credit-card payments.

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