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chivonb

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will being an authorized user on a credit card affect my credit?

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Yes, almost as much as being the primary cardholder. It affects your average age of accounts. Good if the card has been active for many years, not so good if it's somebody's new card. It affects your utilization, which is about a third of your total score. If it gets sent to collections or charged off it will show up as a derogatory item on your credit report. Fortunately the primary card holder is ultimately responsible for it so at least you can't be sued. 
Some people like to "piggyback" onto someone else's credit that way. I've added my adult children to a few of my accounts to help them out with their scores. Some creditors are unimpressed by this though, and will require an applicant to have trade lines of their own. In short, it's good as a supplement, but if authorized user accounts are all you've got on your report that's not going to help a lot. 

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