Meet Sara Ibarra, an Elevations Mortgage Loan Officer

Do you daydream about home ownership? Or do you want to add another investment property to your portfolio? Sara (Lohndorf) Ibarra of the Elevations Credit Union Mortgage Team is ready to help you find the perfect loan to make your vision a reality. Learn more about Ibarra’s approach to residential mortgage loan origination:

Ibarra is intrigued by people. To learn more, she majored in anthropology at the University of Colorado Boulder. Her deep dive into human behavior, societies and cultures creates a solid foundation for her work with Elevations members who need guidance, coaching and financing to help them become homeowners.

“I didn’t really know I was interested in the financial industry until I happened upon the Elevations booth at the CU career fair,” she said. “I think my passion was in learning about different people and cultures from my anthropology major, so I just wanted to be able to help people.”

The Boulder native joined Elevations in 2007 as a teller at the Baseline branch. Over the years she has worked in multiple branches and departments, gaining financial knowledge and experience along the way.

In 2015, Ibarra transitioned from consumer lending to mortgage lending and found her passion helping members make their homeownership dreams a reality. She was a Scotsman’s Guide 2022 Top Women Originator and also made the Scotsman’s list for Top Dollar Volume and most loans closed.

A focus on educating members in homeownership

After attending elementary, middle and high school as well as college in Boulder, Ibarra developed a close connection with the area. By partnering with local real estate agents, she shares her knowledge and connections with potential homeowners who are ready to purchase.

“The best part about being a mortgage loan officer is helping people in our community,” she said. “I have a bachelor’s degree in anthropology and a master’s degree in eLearning, so I am passionate about educating our members. 

“Whether it’s purchasing a new home or refinancing an existing loan to help manage their finances, I find joy in being able to provide guidance and support to our members.”

Bottom line: If you have questions, Ibarra is ready to help find solutions to assist with your financial plans.

Buying a home is stressful enough and worrying about the financing shouldn’t be. “I strive to make the loan process seamless, simple and stress-free, so that you can focus on other areas,” Ibarra said.

A tip for first-time mortgage shoppers

Whether you’re an RV-traveling nomad buying your first investment property or are ready to put down roots in a single-family home, Ibarra recommends using a local lender, like Elevations.

“Often in this market, a pre-approval from a local lender carries more weight than a pre-approval letter from an online lender or a big non-local bank,” she said.

When you’re trying to get an offer accepted from a seller, a trusted local lender with a positive track record can help tip the decision in the buyer’s favor.

Even with the higher interest rate environment, innovative loan products such as the 2/1 buydown, a 7-year adjustable-rate mortgage or a bridge loan can help potential buyers get into a more affordable loan.

Ibarra also admires the support and backing she and the credit union members receive.

“What I like most about Elevations is the community service and educational opportunities which are provided to our members,” she said.

These include a variety of online mortgage resources as well as virtual and in-person seminars that educate members about investing, working on financial goals, being a first-time homebuyer, buying a residential investment property, planning for retirement and more.

A life beyond her financial career

When Ibarra isn’t educating members about the loan types available to them, she’s enjoying the Colorado outdoors with her two young children and toy poodle or can be found on her mat practicing and teaching group yoga classes.  

Are you ready to chat about your future property? Contact Sara Ibarra (NMLS# 810243) by phone or text at 720.660.1611 or via email at She is also seeing members in-person at the Elevations Credit Union Diagonal Branch and by virtual video chat.

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