is there any way I can fix my fan or use thermal paste and attach a new one? I would like to extend the life of my card for at least until the end of this year.
If you can get your fan/featsink off, then you can just replace it, as there are a lot of aftermarket fan/heatsink combos out there. A good place to look is any of the case modder sites, they generally have a lot of the aftermarket stuff.
However, if your heatsink is attached to the GPU with thermal epoxy, then your options are very limited. I personally have a Radeon 8500 whose fan died unexpectedly. My HSF is attached with thermal epoxy so I can't remove it. What I am doing until I can afford a new card is remove the fan (just the fan NOT the heatsink) and attach an old CPU fan for like a K6 or something that kind of screwed into place. It also helps that my case has 2 fans right over the add-in card area, so it already gets plenty of fresh air.
Still, once the fan dies, your card is suspect. You'll probably start to see more graphical glitches and artifacts (like I do sometimes, especially in 3dMark01) along with the slowdowns and crashes. A card wit h a dead fan really needs to be replaced.