Meet Barka, an Elevations Mortgage Loan Officer

Our Elevations Mortgage Loan Officers are here to help members at all stages of their lives navigate homebuying, refinancing, home equity loans and more. Barka Atsemet has worked as a Mortgage Loan Officer since 2019 and developed his deep interest in helping others with their finances from his incredible personal journey.  

The path that led Barka Atsemet to his work as a Mortgage Loan Officer is a profound one. Born in Eritrea during a time of violent conflict in Sudan, Barka spent the first 10 years of his life growing up in Sudanese refugee camps. When his family was finally allowed entry to the United States, they moved to Sioux Falls, South Dakota, where his Dad worked seven days a week in a meatpacking plant.  

At the age of 11, Barka found himself translating for his parents at the local bank so they could learn what a credit card was and how to apply for a car loan — personal finance basics that are vital for building a secure life. The constant interaction with their banker, Nate, and his help with their family’s financial education, left a huge impression on Barka. In addition, watching his Dad save money to send back to Eritrea — for needed infrastructure like roads and generators — showed him the power of smart money management. He decided early on that he wanted to go into banking, and he got his degree in finance.  

As an adult, Barka worked at different banks for 10 years as a retail banker, branch manager and more, but he was disillusioned by banks that prioritized profit over providing the best information and service to customers. “I’ve always had a passion for helping people,” he explains. “If it wasn’t for the help we received, I wouldn’t be here.”  

Almost ready to give up on finance, Barka’s career took a serendipitous turn when he refinanced his home with Elevations. Getting mortgages with other banks in the past “had been painful,” he describes, but with Elevations, it was “smooth from beginning to end.” In fact, it left such an impression on him that he decided to join the Elevations team! Barka started with Elevations in 2014 as a banker. In 2016, he became a mortgage assistant, and in 2019, he became a Mortgage Loan Officer. 

While he works with all types of mortgage clients, Barka particularly enjoys helping those who might need to boost their credit score, require down payment assistance or think buying a house is not within their reach. His dad’s strong work ethic rubbed off on him. “All the good things I’ve seen my Dad do makes me want to be available for members, whether it’s Saturday or Sunday or 10 p.m.,” says Barka.  

For Barka, Elevations’ philosophy perfectly matches his own deep-rooted commitment to serving others. “Elevations is here solely to serve members and give them excellent service along the way. It doesn’t matter if it’s a big or small thing. I’ve seen that from senior leadership to middle management to everyone,” he says.  

With Elevations’ paid time off for volunteering, Barka has enjoyed helping at area food banks and supplying backpacks for school kids. On his own time, he volunteers with an organization that provides furniture and other goods to immigrant families in Denver.  

Barka and his wife have two sons and a dog, and when he’s not working, their family stays active with sports and the outdoors. Barka coaches his older son’s basketball team, assists with the soccer team and goes trail running with his wife up to six miles, three times a week. They also stay in touch with Barka’s large extended family. He has 13 siblings — all living in the United States — which means a lot of graduations, baptisms and weddings. “With just graduations alone, we have family reunions once or twice a year,” he laughs.    

If you’re seeking help with your next home purchase and want to speak with Barka (NMLS # 898862), you can call or text him at 303.746.6361 or email him at barka.atsemet@elevationscu.com. 

Author Elevations Credit Union

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