Consumers and small businesses may finally get the loans they need, as the Federal Reserve is launching its much awaited $200 billion consumer credit program, although markets and exchange traded funds (ETFs) may need more than that for a sustained rally.

TALF. Autos, education, credit cards may soon become available to consumers as the Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility will finally be launched. Jeannine Aversa for the Associated Press reports that companies and investors that pledge eligible collateral to back the loan must request the new government loans by March 17. The Fed will provide the three-year loans on March 25.

Jeannine Aversa for the Associated Press also reports that Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke told Congress that the financial recovery must ultimately be led by the financial sector. The government must be able to prop up the unstable financial system in order for a turnaround to begin.

The effectiveness of a string of radical actions taken by the Fed, the Treasury Department and other agencies to stabilize markets “will be critical determinants of the timing and strength of the recovery,” said Bernanke to the Senate Budget Committee.