If the "no payments" means accumulating lates your score will drop from 750 to below 600 - perhaps 550. The amount of drop will be influenced by credit utilization as well. Note: you run the risk of accounts being closed and going into collection after 120 or 150 days.
Potentially scores will return after seven years if there are no subsequent lates/derogatories. The rebound will be affected by the accounts on file.
I often go without paying on a card for many months, but that is because I don't have a balance. So the issue is not going without paying but how long you can be late on a required payment.
You ask what would happen if you were late 4, 5, or 6 and then pick up again. It's likely that you wouldn't have an option. Your card might well be closed by then by the issuer.
You also ask if your credit score could ever recover from the scoring impact of late payments. Assuming that that the account wasn't closed (and all you had was serious lates) then the answer is Yes and specifically 7 years. Lates are required to fall off your reports no later than seven years after they occur.
Remember that a late payment on a credit card means that the person is so over his head with financial problems that he cannot even make the (small) minimum payment. The MP was due typically 25 days after the statement printed and it cannot be reported as late until you have failed to make the payment for 30 days after the due date. So a Day 30 late really is rightly viewed by FICO as a significant event signaling substantial risk (55 days after you were given the bill, longer if you count the date of a purchase). Day 60 is more serious still, and Day 90 very serious.
If you even let several cards only go 30 days late your FICO will take a major hit and it will take years to recover.
Well they stuck it up my butt very far, but I also understand why, because I recently took a crap load of new credit (3 personal loans) as well as maxed all my cards, which had already maxed my utilization. Then I Immediately followed it all up by 90 days no payments and counting..
Went from mid 700s to 300-350 I believe homeless people have better credit!!!
If taking on several personal loans, maxing all cards, and then immediately paying nothing for 90+ days wasn't enough to completely tank a score, what would be???
Considering that the designed point of a FICO score is "odds of 90+ day default"... it's doing its job correctly here.
I still say it sucks because anybody who goes a few months and then turns around and starts paying again should be a major indication that this man has every intention of paying the money back. Having to wait 7 full years as if I didn’t make any payments and defaulted and stuck it to them, should not or ever be in the same basket as a man who skipped a few months and then picked up and started all over again!!!!
Sorry, but no. You are in default. Not paying even the minimum monthly payment is default.
Restarting monthly payments at some later point "as if nothing happened" isn't a "major indication ... of paying the money back" - it's the minimum basic expectation. Not to mention the accumulated missed payments, interest, fees... You can't just start regular monthly minimum payments back up again and expect everything to revert back to normal.
In the grand scheme of things, if you sit back and look at a guy who went 30 straight years of never ONCE being late, then skipped a few months, then went another 20 years, for goodness sake‘s, on any mathematical graph it would be almost indistinguishable.
In the great tradition of bad car analogies:
You've gone 30 straight years of never exceeding the speed limit, then you flew by a state trooper at 130MPH.
Slowing back down to the limit once the lights and siren go on isn't going to prevent the ticket (or worse).
How long the ticket (and the 90+ lates) count against you is controlled by law - state specific for the ticket, and federal for the lates - you may think 7 years is way too long, and 18 months is "just right". But lenders likely think 7 years is a bit too short! (And 18 months is barely a blink in credit terms.)
Also, to stretch the car analogy a bit further - even after the points from the ticket are gone, that trooper may remember you none too fondly - just as the lenders that you are in default to will have internal records on this even after the 7 year CRA exclusion window.
Sorry OP that you are in your current situation.
It may be best to contact an attorney who specilaizes in financial issues. They can provide you with the best legal options be it going after the person that borrowed(?) your money or if bankruptcy might be the better option. I would imgaine there would not be a discharge but there may be help.
At least be worth a consultation...