The Student Loans Company (SLC) said it would cut 150 positions from the company's sites in Glasgow and Hillington, Renfrewshire, with a further 45 jobs transferred to Darlington.
A spokeswoman for the SLC said it had started consultation with employees after moving the grant and loan application process online.
The SLC employs 1,894 people across the UK, including 1,212 in Glasgow and 127 in Hillington. The consultation period will take around 90 days.
Ralph Jackson, chief executive of the SLC, said: "We are sorry that we have to make 150 posts redundant.
"I want to reassure our customers that these changes will not affect frontline staff and we will continue to make the improvements needed to deliver a better quality of service to them in the future."
Colin Young, secretary of the PCS union branch which represents SLC staff, said: "This is a body blow to the hard-working staff in the SLC and to the city of Glasgow, that can ill-afford to lose well paid, highly skilled jobs."
John Mason, SNP MP for Glasgow East, criticised the UK government for the job cuts.
"The UK government has let Glasgow and Scotland down. Just a few months ago, Prime Minister Gordon Brown was promising jobs for all. Now his government is making people redundant.
"Any redundancies are a blow but this announcement comes at a crucial time, as the economy is beginning to turn a corner."
Mohammad Sarwar, Labour MP for Glasgow Central, whose constituency includes the SLC's head office, said: "I urge the company to enter into proper negotiations with the workforce and trade union. I am hopeful there will be no compulsory redundancies."